How to Deal With a Bad Boss

February 12, 2019 • Rehack Team


Do you need advice on how to deal with a bad boss?

In a perfect world, all bosses would be…well, bosses. They would provide strong leadership along with helpful advice, cultivating a team of smart and able individuals ready to climb the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, not all those chosen to lead have this talent.

The 2011 movie “Horrible Bosses” introduced us to some of the world’s worst managers — and perhaps the worst way to deal with them. If you want some exercisable advice on how to deal with your horrible boss, pinpoint their type and learn how best to handle them below.

1. The Boss Who Won’t Let You Collaborate

Working with your colleagues is extremely important to the quality of work that the entire team produces. Together, you’ll learn to be self-aware and widen your scope to see others’ points of view.

Unfortunately, your boss might prefer that you work solo. This issue might mean that you’re left to churn out projects individually. It could also mean that your boss doesn’t allow you to ask other departments for help. No matter what, it’s cramping the quality of your work and may even leave you feeling isolated.

Fix: Become a People Person

Sometimes, you have to branch out on your own. Start getting to know co-workers from other departments. Schedule group meetings and lunches away from the office so that you feel more comfortable reaching out later when you need help. You might not be able to collaborate officially, but there are no rules against making friends in high places.

2. The Boss Who Can’t Communicate

You’re a hard worker, and you know your stuff. There’s only one problem — you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s no fault of yours, but the fault of a boss who can’t explicitly express him or herself, thus leaving you in the dark about expectations, deadlines and more. Even your follow-ups provide little clarity.

Fix: Ask Questions

Even if they lack in this department, your boss should be open to answering questions, so don’t be afraid to ask when you need clarification. Consult with team members to make sure you all have the same understanding of what’s expected.

3. The Boss Who Takes Credit

There might not be anything worse than this issue. You’ve worked your tail off on a project, or you’ve pulled out all of the stops to nab a fantastic client. Then, when you think it’s time for everyone to shower praises onto you, your boss stands up to take credit for all your hard work. Not cool at all.

Fix: Reach out in Private

Even though you’re not technically in charge, you might have to be the one to take the reins in terms of building a relationship with your boss. There are plenty of ways to do it — you can speak to them at a time that suits their schedule, or try tweaking your communication style to match theirs.

To that end, you can reach out in an email to say that you felt as though you deserved recognition. Your boss should at the very least apologize, and they may even extend a postponed thank you to you in front of the team.

4. The Boss Who Shoots Down Your Ideas

Passionate. Respectful. Humble. Good bosses share plenty of characteristics. And then, there’s your boss, who’s never open to any innovations or creativity. Instead, they want you to stick to the norms or, worse yet, they’re open only to their own ideas and plans.

Fix: Talk One-on-One

It’s frustrating to feel as though you’re not contributing in spite of all that you do. Try speaking to your boss one-on-one to set goals and better understand what they’re looking for when you brainstorm.

Then, go back to your desk and type up an email with everything you discussed, adding that you look forward to working on it. That way, you have a record of your conversation. Should things stay the same, HR can step in next.

Be the Boss

Now you know how to deal with a bad boss. Having a bad boss is tough, but guess what? You’re a boss too.

With the above tips, you can make a bad situation better and get so much more out of your job. You never know — you might even make your manager improve too!