Most people make terrible bosses. And that’s because for the first 20 some years of a person’s life, we are trained to follow, obey, and deliver, and rarely are people truly ready to manage and lead.
One of my favorite Podcasts, “Radical Candor” [you can check it out here] talks about how not everyone’s meant to be a boss (and that’s totally okay). One quick self-test is this: do you want others on your team to be more successful than you? If the answer is no, you should reconsider taking on that boss role.
Anyway, so what if you are already stuck with a bad boss? Here are some ways you can deal with your boss from hell.
This is my current go-to technique. Sure, it’s passive-aggressive, but sometimes there’s too much stupidity and/or meanness coming out of a person’s mouth. You just gotta ignore — it’s not for them. It’s for your sanity.
Be direct with them
Bosses with low EQs will say the most offensive things and won’t even know that they’ve said something that’s totally racist/sexist/uncalled for. Speak up. Say that it’s offensive or at minimum, don’t laugh with them, and ask, “Why would you say that?”
Never lose it. Because in the adult world, whoever loses their shit first are the real losers. Even if you have the most reasonable cause for going off on someone, your voice must stay gentle and your face cannot turn red. Be stern when addressing someone’s wrongdoing, but don’t let anyone catch you get pissed in a professional setting. Feeling a confrontation coming up? Try to do it in a private area (conference room) with a mediator. Seriously, be calm. Feeling yourself getting too emotional, excuse yourself for a bathroom break and regroup. NEVER cry.
Document, document, document
I may or may not have an on-going record of every single offensive things that were said in my office…lol What kind of crazy person would do that?
If you are serious about making sure the boss learns their lesson, start writing down what they say/do, when, where, etc. Claiming that your boss is generally terrible won’t get you anywhere. You need specifics. Be ready.
Okay, first of all, I am not going to give the advice, “Talk to your boss.” That’s a stupid advice. Main problem with offensive, terrible, stupid people is that they don’t know that they’re offensive, terrible, and stupid. So forget trying to change them. They will deny it and make your life worse.
Practical next step is to take it to HR. If your HR is basically non-existent (like mine) and/or incompetent, you only got one thing left to do: leave.
Life is too short to deal with a horrible person on daily basis. Sure, pray for them, love them, blah blah. But you do not have to endure hours of torture. You got nothing to prove, and some people just make terrible bosses.
You are FREE as a bird, and the only thing that you are truly tied to is your student loan.
So go and find a better boss! And BE a better boss than yours.