Dealing with a Difficult Manager? Here Are 5 Things to Consider | Savoir Flair
Careers & Finance
Dealing with a Difficult Manager? Here Are 5 Things to Consider
by Sophia Fromell 3-minute read January 18, 2024

A career coach breaks down the five things to consider if you find yourself dealing with a difficult boss.


Regardless of your profession, you’re likely to seek a workplace in which you get along with your colleagues and receive the necessary support from your manager in order to grow and progress. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, a survey conducted by B2B Marketplace revealed that 42 percent of the respondents had previously left a job due to having a difficult boss. Before you get ready to jump ship, though, here are a few things that you should consider when you find yourself dealing with a difficult manager.


Is Your Boss Really That Bad?

Before you make a hasty judgment, observe your boss over a period of time. It is easier to notice what they do poorly, but try to look at it from a different perspective, picking up on what they do well instead. Does he or she seem to behave in a reasonable manner most of the time with other people?


Consider What Is Behind the Behavior

The first step in resolving any challenge is trying to understand what is causing it. What is behind your boss’ difficult behavior? Is it possible that they are newly appointed in their role and feel unsure about which direction to go in? It can be stress or work overload that has caused a shift in the way they behave. Try giving him or her the benefit of the doubt.


Be an Ally, Not an Enemy

Going into war with your boss is one of the worst moves you could make. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by making them look bad. Instead, you need to work around their weaknesses and demonstrate that you can work together. For example, if you know that your boss leaves things to the last minute, make sure you regularly ask them if there are any projects they need support with.


Don't Let Their Behavior Impact You

Given the hours we spend in the office, it’s hard not to be affected by your boss’ negative behavior. However, try not to get into the habit of taking this stress with you when you leave the office. Keep your work life separate from your personal life; it will help reduce your stress levels and positively impact the quality of your personal relationships.


Lastly, Speak Up

If you feel undervalued or demoralized, then it may be time to speak up and let your boss know instead of suffering in silence. Try to be factual rather than emotional and accusatory. Use words like “I feel that…” as opposed to “You don’t…”. Remember: This is a discussion, not a confrontation.

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