We’ve all heard of bosses that test our patience. When the David Brents of the real world find themselves in positions where they get to order people around, their worst traits begin to take hold. Whether that means they belittle or bully you, take credit for your work, fail to provide good feedback or any kind of leadership, a bad boss can demotivate you way more than a difficult project or a bad night’s sleep. Sometimes, it feels like you’re facing off against Goliath with only a slingshot.
Bad bosses come in a variety of flavours: micromanagers or completely hands-off, dictatorial or spineless. One thing we know about all of them is that they’re not usually aware of how bad they are. If you think it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room regarding your boss’s behaviour, it’s important to bear that in mind.
Perhaps they’re stressed out and can’t keep up with their job requirements. Perhaps they think being hands-off and providing no direction is empowering their team to make the best decisions, or that the team will lose its direction if they’re not constantly checking in on them and trying to micromanage them. In these circumstances, you should be considering how you can improve your superior’s behaviour rather than challenging him, perhaps by enrolling your company in the Tribe 365 programme.
The Bad Boss Who Knows He’s Bad
On the other hand, sometimes you have to work with a superior who’s little more than a grown-up playground bully. The worst examples tend to look down on their subordinates, humiliating them in front of their coworkers and providing nothing but harsh criticism mixed with insults. Their raison d’etre is to wear you down, so you can be put in your place in the company hierarchy.
When you meet a boss like this, there’s only two real options: calling out their behaviour or leaving the company. If they can be held accountable by someone above them in the company hierarchy, it’s time to file a complaint. By showing how their behaviour is causing serious damage to workplace productivity and motivation, it’s possible to either make them change or leave. At the end of the day, your workplace shouldn’t be unpleasant to work in and you deserve to work with a boss who will help you grow as an employee.
In the event that you find yourself staring down Goliath with only a single stone (or HR complaint), remember that one is all it took to deal with him. Leadership and workplace cohesion are all part of our Tribe 365 programme.