You have head the experience of dealing with a difficult teacher. Dealing with a difficult boss is not that different, but the impact that a difficult boss can have is far more than that of a different teacher.
Before discussing strategies of dealing with a difficult boss, some perspectives are needed.
- Your initial boss will probably be a lower level manager who may not have much experience at managing.
- Difficulty may be defined in many ways. A boss who is extremely challenging may be in your best interest. A boss who is abusive and uncommunicative is not in your best interest.
- Bosses may not necessarily be your friend. A boss can be very helpful to you but keep you at a distance.
- What you need most from your boss is support for:
▬ Performance appraisals
▬ Pay increases
▬ Creating opportunities for you
Now with these perspectives in mind, how can you deal with a difficult boss? Here are some suggestions:
- Find out about your boss.
▬ Agenda (what your boss focuses on)
▬ Communication style (how often, what format, what information to be communicated)
▬ Personal style (work habits, ways to doing business, likes/dislikes)
- Ask your boss for his/her expectations.
▬ What to emphasize
▬ What to avoid
- Match your strengths with areas where your boss may be weak.
- Give your boss what he/she wants, not what you want to do.
- Don’t be afraid of having frank talks with your boss about areas of concern.
- Add value to every assignment you are given. Do more than was expected.
- Find out what drives your boss crazy.
▬ Not taking initiative
▬ Lack of discipline
▬ Not speaking up
- Don’t accept any actions of your boss that are abusive, unethical, or personally unacceptable. Discuss your concerns with the appropriate organizational person.
Students will often credit one of their most difficult teachers with helping them be successful. This is also true for bosses. Your most difficult boss may also be a major contributor to your success..