By

Source: Chartered Management Institute
How to Manage a Horrible Boss
By Jermaine Haughton


Excerpt

MANAGING UP RATHER THAN PACKING UP?

While changing jobs may at times seem like the only option, an uncertain job market and financial responsibilities makes the decision complex.

Therefore, academics and HR experts have advised that under-pressure employees revive their relationship with their manager by rethinking how they can better manage the boss they already have, despite all their flaws and shortcomings; otherwise known as managing up.

As opposed to rebelling a dysfunctional boss, ambitious professionals will attempt to understand their boss’s demands and exceed all their expectations and needs. Management coach and bestselling author Margie Warrell has five key tips for managing your boss:

1. IDENTIFY THEIR PRIME MOTIVATIONS
Find out what your boss cares about in the workplace, and how he/she identifies with success and failure. By putting yourself in your superior’s shoes, you can adjust your work and behaviour to fit better with their core values, concerns and priorities.

2. WORK AROUND THEIR WEAKNESSES
While there may be a temptation to make your boss look bad, it is likely to only result in damaging the results of the team and your reputation. Instead, try to cover for your boss’s weaknesses, allowing him/her to focus on their strengths. For example, help your disorganised managers by helping them keep on top of things. Also don’t be afraid to mirror your boss’s style. How does he/she like to communicate; e-mail or face-to-face? Working with his/her preferences is an obvious way of managing your boss without them ever knowing it.

3. REMAIN PROFESSIONAL
Never let your boss’s bad behaviour be an excuse for your own. While it may be easy to succumb to resentment or resignation and mentally check out of your job, doing so not only undermines your own integrity but it can put you at risk of being branded as a whiner, a slacker, or both. So if your boss is a shouter, don’t react by shouting back. If they are petty or small-minded, don’t descend to smallness yourself (however tempting)!

4. TALK WITH YOUR BOSS
Urge your bad manager to have a private 15-minute conversation with you. By having the courage to speak up rather than cower in silence, you can make your boss know that you are unhappy about his/her behaviour, as well as allowing for them to provide an explanation – and maybe even an apology.

5. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE JUMPING SHIP
If you feel you have to leave your current job, then take time to research the culture, the leadership and reputation of your new organisation or department. How big are the teams? Any rumours of discrimination? Furthermore, use your contacts and networking to get a sense of both the environment within the team you might be moving to, and those who are creating it.

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