Bad Boss Behavior - There is Hope

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At one point or another in your career you will have to deal with it. It's pretty much inevitable, at least as long as human beings are in the position to lead and manage other human beings. You are going to get a bad boss, or if you are lucky, a good boss who sometimes behaves badly. The question is what, if anything, can you do about it.

There is always the tried and true approach of recreational and vocational complaining. After all, there is certain satisfaction to be found in bad-mouthing the boss to family and friends, all the while comparing notes as to who really has the most hideous boss. In this twisted game of one-upmanship (or woman-ship, to be fair) you might see their Genghis Khan and raise with your Joseph Stalin.

This game might be fun, for a while, but it has absolutely no impact on changing the situation. Oh yeah, and tomorrow is Monday. Now you may or may not be successful at changing your boss's bad behavior or habits, but it is most certainly worth a try. If you do it right. But to do so requires a lot of thoughtfulness, a little bit of finesse and a likely shift of your current strategy.

First of all, accept that you can not effectively manage your boss from afar. The avoidance technique is notoriously unsuccessful because, while your boss may behave badly, he certainly is not stupid. He knows that you are avoiding him and he probably resents it. I suggest that you manage your boss in close, with frequency. I call this managing your boss like a bar fight.

Secondly, make it about you and your development, not them and their bad behavior. Face it, no one enjoys being told about their shortcomings, even though feedback is the most essential building block of development. Plus, your boss is already getting plenty of feedback from their boss or the Board, whatever the case may be. But when you make it about your development and hence your ability to drive results, you are much more likely to strike a resonant chord with your boss.

If he's a micro-manager your development need may be called "guided independence." If she is too hands off, perhaps you articulate the need as "periodic status checks." If he's cold and aloof, you may ask for more "insight" into a situation. I think you get the idea.

Whatever the case may be, I am confident that there is an angle to approach your boss about how your development could benefit from a modified relationship. Done correctly, you will find yourself more satisfied and engaged in your job. But you will need to find something new to complain about.

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Matt Angello has 1 articles online

Matthew Angello is the Founder and Principal of Bright Tree Consulting Group, LLC and a former board-level executive in Fortune 500 companies. He offers highly personalized and effective coaching for individuals seeking to unleash their potential, move their performance to the next level and prepare for future challenges. Visit our website to learn about our services and enjoy our free downloads -

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Bad Boss Behavior - There is Hope

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This article was published on 2010/03/29