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Tips to Deal With Difficult Bosses


With the recent release of the movie "Horrible Bosses," how many employees empathize with the movie's miserable workers? A boss can make or break a company's environment. And according to a survey by OfficeTeam, a staffing service that questioned 441 employees, many workers are frustrated with their company's upper management.

The survey found that 46 percent of respondents have worked for an unreasonable boss. And their responses to the difficult office environment varied. Thirty-five percent of employees stayed in the office and tried to deal with their boss, while 24 percent remained at the company and suffered through the distress. Other workers decided it was time to leave that office. Twenty-seven percent of respondents quit once they found another job, but 11 percent couldn't take it anymore and quit without another job opportunity.

"Bad bosses aren't necessarily bad people, but they certainly can make work challenging for those who report to them," says Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam's executive director. "Often, individuals are promoted because they excel in a given job, but that doesn't mean they have the skills to be effective leaders."

OfficeTeam presents the five types of difficult bosses as well as suggestions to deal with the situation:

— The micromanager: This type of boss can't assign roles. This boss will literally look over your shoulder to make sure the duty is performed to his or her idea of perfection. Strategy: Show your boss that you can be trusted with your assignments. Be sure to make deadlines, keep an eye out for details and continue to update your manager on your progress.

— The poor communicator: This type of boss doesn't give direction.

Deadlines and objectives fail to be communicated clearly. Projects may need to be redone at the last minute. Strategy: When working on an assignment, ask to make sure that you aren't missing any important information. If confused, request clarification.

— The bully: This type of boss wants it only way — his or her method is the right way. Oftentimes, this boss can be bad-tempered and become easily frustrated. Strategy: You must defend yourself. If your idea is not considered, give details behind the reasoning of your proposal. Do this in a calm manner. Getting angry will only make the situation worse.

— The saboteur: This type of boss doesn't acknowledge hard work performed by others. Workers are hardly ever identified for a job well done. This boss will take the praise for employees' objectives, but he or she will blame others if the assignment turns out badly. Strategy: Try to display your contributions to upper management. You want to put your boss in a positive light, but it shouldn't harm your own career development.

— The mixed bag: This boss is constantly changing — one day you are friends, but he or she turns on you the next day. Strategy: Try not to be greatly affected by the manager's mood swings. It isn't your fault. Remain cool and collected during conversations. When your manager is in a bad mood, limit communication to only very important subjects.

"Friction between supervisors and employees can stem from differing work styles," says Hosking. " It's not possible to control your boss's actions, but you can change how you respond to them."

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To find out more about Amy Winter and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



2 Comments | Post Comment
how to do succfull in your futher?

Comment: #1
Posted by: ogyme
Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:38 AM
how about the non-confrontationalist? The boss who is afraid of confrontation and doesn't want any uncomfortable disagreements between him and the employees so he tries to do what ever he can to avoid conflicts by avoiding any an all problems, discussions, reprimands etc... So the slackers and the bad people continue to get away with their bad behavior because he doesn't want to confront them on their behavior or 'make waves.'
Comment: #2
Posted by: Laurie
Wed May 7, 2014 2:13 PM
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