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Bad Boss? Here's What You Do


Bad bosses are a fact of life. "Bad bosses aren't necessarily bad people, but they certainly can make work challenging for those who report to them," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, a staffing service.

Nearly half the office workers in a recent survey by OfficeTeam recalled working for an unreasonable manager. But of those employees, 60 percent said they stayed in their jobs, either living with the situation or trying to address it.

Only one in 10 employees faced with a toxic supervisor quit immediately, without a new job in sight, and only 27 percent waited until they lined up a new job, then fled.

Thirty-five percent elected to stay put and deal with the issue, and 24 percent said they stayed and suffered in silence.

What coping strategies did those survivors call on to stay on the job?

OfficeTeam identified five common types of poor bosses, along with strategies for working with them.

The micromanager: This boss has trouble delegating tasks. Since trust is usually the issue, OfficeTeam suggested you religiously adhere to deadlines, pay attention to detail and keep the boss apprised of all the steps you've taken to ensure quality work.

The poor communicator: Employees of this boss are left with little or no direction and constantly have to guess what the boss wants. OfficeTeam said that to deal with this information gap, you need to ask for the information that your boss hasn't provided at the outset of any project. Seek clarification when confused and try to arrange regular progress reports.

The bullying boss:  It's either their way or the highway. As difficult as it may be, you need to stand up for yourself. The next time your supervisor shoots down your proposal, for example, calmly explain your rationale.

The saboteur: This boss undermines the efforts of others, neglecting to give credit to employees for their good ideas and placinging the blame on others when projects go south. It's well and good to make your boss look good, OfficeTeam said, but not at the expense of your own career. Make sure your contributions are more visible to others, especially your boss's bosses.

The mixed bag manager: This boss, said OfficeTeam, is like the weather: It'sI unpredictable. Try not to take this boss's disposition personally and stay calm and composed with dealing with him or her.

"Often individuals are promoted because they excel in a given job, but that doesn't mean they have the skills to be effective leaders," Hosking said. "Friction between supervisors and employees can stem from differing work styles. It's not possible to control your boss's actions, but you can change how you respond to them."




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