Date check!!! Christmas beckons and I remember telling you how excited I felt with the month and all that came with it.

I hope you are taking time to reflect as the year gradually wraps up. Corporate work life is also grinding to a halt in many organizations. Last week, we brought you tips on to deal with an obnoxious colleague or employee and this week, we bring you yet another table-shaking piece. This time around, we turn the tables and focus on dealing with a difficult boss.

In the course of work, we sometimes find that there seems to be an existing gulf between the employees and their superiors. In this case, superior could refer to your direct boss, your line manager or your supervising colleague. Sometimes, you could find yourself at a point where due to friction with your boss, you begin to doubt your competence and capabilities, self esteem and will generally want to dread work.

I recently read a Human Resource research on reasons why people quit their jobs and one of the top five reasons was “bad bosses” and as I read further, the writer encouraged her audience that praying for a great pay is equally as important as praying for a good boss. The mistake a lot of us make is that we feel that no matter how difficult or obnoxious a superior colleague or boss is, a good pay will make up for all the emotional, psychological and even physical pains we might face. I am sorry to burst to your bubble but the truth is a bitter pill that we might not want to swallow but will have to eventually. Most often than not, a good pay would not necessarily make up for the pain.

Just before we get carried away talking about the impact of difficult employers to our emotional and psychological health, let’s talk about how to work effectively in the circumstances.   

If you have identified that you have a difficult employer, try these steps out and see how work will feel better:

  • Identify the Personality of your Boss: Just like every other difficult situation, identification is key to dealing with the person who you are working with. Ensure you are not the one who spites your boss; also ensure you recognize the sour points of your boss and be intentional about avoiding the actions and attitudes that ignite these sour points. Identification can go as far as knowing the temperament type of your employer/boss and knowing how to deal with folks with such temperament. Identify their motivators too.
  • Be At The Top Of Your Game: Once you have identified the personality of your boss, you already have an advantage over them and you can prevent them from hurting you in any way. Be your own daredevil; ask yourself the questions that the boss will ask. Basically, think like your boss will think and take the necessary actions that will suit the assignment; this way you are always a step ahead of your boss.

  • Don’t Let It Affect Your Productivity: I know it feels almost impossible allowing negative emotions affect you psychologically and affecting our output at work; but while you still have that superior or employer, it will be best you develop a thick skin to shrug of every negative emotion as quickly as possible and do your tasks with utmost excellence so the boss has no chip against you. You can develop this choosing one thing to be grateful for. Also, try to take your focus away from the method of delivery of the reprimand and focus on the reason of the reprimand and this way, you will see the period as a learning curve.
  • Speak Up: You can let your employer know their actions are affecting you and try not to communicate this in an impolite manner. Don’t cower in fear and allow yourself to be bullied; stand tall with facts and state your cause and communicate effectively. Malicious words or feelings towards your boss may further aggravate their sour attitude towards you. Know your boss’ preferences and adapt To Them: Knowing what they like and what they dislike can make you have a better work experience, This is actually wisdom for your sanity, so long as it doesn’t entail doing anything illegal or immoral. Soon, you will find yourself having less squabbles with your employer/boss.

As we draw closer to the end of another year, it is imperative to know how to manage the relationships around us especially as it relates to work which is where we tend to spend most of our time. It is wisdom to adopt better and more efficient ways of managing those things that robbed you of great work life this year and hope for a better 2021.

Until I come your way again, stay safe, work smart and not just hard. Happy holidays.


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