No Jerks Allowed

How to Get Ahead When You Have a Bad Boss


Source: Time Inc.
How to Get Ahead When You Have a Bad Boss
By Donna Rosato

Today is National Boss’s Day—but you may be hard pressed to find workers who want to celebrate it.

Nearly 90% of workers report having had a bad boss, according to a survey out today by LaSalle Network, a staffing firm in Chicago. There’s a corporate cost for that behavior: Half of workers surveyed say they have quit their job because of a bad supervisor.

So, what irks workers about their bosses? The No. 1 complaint: credit mongering. One-quarter of survey respondents said a bad boss is someone who never takes the blame but is the first to take the credit.

Other behaviors cited: A boss who notices only negatives, not positives; is uncaring; doesn’t acknowledge hard work; and is not willing to help workers advance and learn.

Despite the near universal experience, 55% of workers have never complained to higher-ups about having a nasty manager, according to the LaSalle survey. “Employees don’t speak up because they’re scared,” says Tom Gimbel, CEO of LaSalle Network. They worry that if they try going above their boss’s head, “they fear they’ll be judged or cut from their role,” he says.

There’s no need to suffer in silence. Instead, use the situation as an opportunity to advance your career. “There are people like this in every company,” says Stacey Hawley, founder of Credo, a compensation and talent management firm. “If you complain about your boss to someone else, you just look like you can’t handle the situation. If you want to be in leadership position, you have to know how to deal with people like this.”

First, make it harder for your boss to lie. Copy key people involved in a project on emails or memos on important updates and accomplishments. Offer yourself up as a point person. Ask other team members to submit updates too. “If everyone is in the loop on what’s going on, it’ll be harder for your boss to take credit,” says Hawley.

If a problem crops up and your boss blames you or a team member, don’t get defensive. Talk about what went wrong and how to solve it. “Taking responsibility is good. Coming up with solutions is even better,” says Hawley.

If your boss takes credit for your work in a meeting or in front of other people, chime in. “You need to make it clear you played a role, but be sure to give your boss credit,” says Hawley. “Your boss may be acting this way because he or she perceives you as a threat. Take the threat off the table.” Hawley suggests saying something like, ‘That was a great idea. I like how you did this and we came up with this solution.’ It’s also an opportunity for you to acknowledge other people who contributed to the project.

Finally, align yourself with other people in your organization. Your boss shouldn’t be the only one who knows about your work. “You need to develop relationships with other higher-ups who can advocate for you,” says Hawley. Build your professional relationships by asking senior people for feedback or advice on a project you are working on or inviting them to lunch or coffee to discuss ideas you have.

Advises Hawley: “Turn the situation around and make it a chance to grow your own career.”

How to Deal with a Bad Boss


Source: GoGirl Finance
How to Deal with a Bad Boss
By Sarah Chang

Got a bad boss? The good news is you’re not alone. Up to 65 million Americans have been impacted by bullying in the workplace at some point — and most of the time the boss is to blame. The bad news is you still need to show up to work every morning and survive (at the very least). What’s a girl to do?

Although it’s tempting to try and avoid your boss (who wants a confrontation, after all), licensed therapist, coach and behavior change expert Melody Wilding says by doing so you’re only hurting yourself. “Going home and venting about what a jerk your boss may feel good,” she cautions, “but it does nothing to constructively improve the situation.” And eventually those bad feelings will start impacting other areas of your life, even leading to depression and anxiety.

So instead of sinking into despair, make a plan. Preparation is power, and we’ve got the tips that will help you manage a difficult situation.

1. Find an Outlet and Manage Your Frustration
In any difficult work situation (heck, in any difficult situation) it’s important to manage your own frustration. This is no exception — especially if you need to stay in your job (at least for the short term). Career Coach Elena Konstant suggests meditation, breathing exercises, a quick walk or break — whatever it takes to keep your cool.

This may also be a good time to look inward — and assess how your own emotions may impact the steps you take moving forward. “Do you tend to take criticism as a personal attack? Does your boss trigger memories of someone else who mistreated you in your life? This self-awareness exercise helps you understand and gain control over emotional reactions like anger, frustration, or defeat that come up,” Wilding says.

2. Take the Professional High Road
It’s easy to run to HR with your complaints — but be prepared. You don’t want to be seen as the employee who cried wolf. Instead, you may want to meet with your boss prior to escalating anything. A face-to-face meeting may be productive if (and only if) you’re able to manage your emotions (here’s where those meditation exercises will come in handy).

Wilding cautions against “confronting” your boss, instead focus on “discussing” your concerns. “Bullying bosses often use personal attacks as a way to bait you into an emotional reaction, so be aware of that,” she says. “If you act defensive, you’ll just be rewarding their bad behavior and perpetuating the cycle. Instead, take the professional high-road. Approach it as a problem solving conversation, from the perspective of ‘here are my concerns, now how can we make this work?'”

3. Document, Document, Document
Even if you’re planning on meeting with your boss it’s best to document every incident as soon as you start noticing a problem — and be detailed. “Keep track of assignments, accomplishments, exchanges, and any other information relevant to demonstrate a detrimental pattern of behavior,” Konstant says. By maintaining a paper trail you’ll be able to provide the right type of evidence to the higher-ups if necessary.

If you can, Wilding suggests even trying to identify how your boss’s behavior may be impacting the company. “Document data that backs up how your boss’ bad behavior detracts from business results,” she says. “If you can point to a loss in clients or a drop in productivity, you have a factual business case to support why it’s imperative that things change.”

4. Consult HR
Let’s say you’ve tried meeting with your boss and nothing’s changed — or the situation is becoming increasingly toxic. This would be the right time to collect your notes and arrange a meeting with HR.

If some added pressure on your boss doesn’t make things better it’s probably time to consider leaving your position. “No one should tolerate abuse,” Wilding says. “Sometimes valuing your self-respect has to come before having a job.”