I just read I Hate My Boss – So Now What? Thanks for the great article!
I just had a horrible experience with my boss today and was really doubting if I could continue to work with him. My boss is consistently negative about co-workers, the executive director, and the organization as a whole. He is the office gossip, and when I tell him I don’t want to talk about people behind their backs, he says he’s not gossiping, he’s just talking about their actual behavior. I’m not sure how that’s not gossiping, but I let it go.
Today my boss asked for my opinion about a project in front of some other co-workers, and then proceeded to shoot down my opinion. When I tried to defend my opinion, he told me we needed to talk about it private. Then later he scolded me for challenging him in front of other people. I stood up for myself and said I didn’t appreciate how he addressed me in front of our co-workers. I also (maybe a little rudely) said that if he had already made up his mind on this project, then he shouldn’t have asked for my opinion. When I left work I was fuming! I really don’t want to work for someone where there is so much animosity between us.
But after reading your article, I’m going to try and change my attitude toward the situation. I’ll work on biting my tongue a little more. I will really have to work on not thinking of him as a jerk, but I will work on my behavior.
Thanks again for the article!
I love your attitude and want you to know I really feel for you. And truth be told he may very well be a jerk (all that gossiping could easily come back to bite him), but there’s no way you’re going to change him or make things better for yourself by matching his behavior.
You didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, you were right to tell him what you did. It’s just he’s in charge and your best bet is to find a way to work with him as long as you’re there. It’s all in the way you go about it. You never know…he may need and appreciate allies. And some tough nuts are sweet when you get behind the bluster. I’ve had bosses like that. (Although I’ll admit some had me at the edge of my patience and beyond before we made any progress!) But even if he has no sweet (or even semi-sweet) core that you can find, my experience has shown me that your best bet is to find a way to work with him.
My basic rule is to do all you can to make the best of a situation – and that doesn’t mean being walked on. It means taking charge as much as possible of your own fate by being smart in how you handle things. But, if your boss is continually abusive and makes your life miserable even after you’ve attempted to help yourself (and him), then you really do need to find a new job. You can only bite your tongue so long before it starts to eat at you! (-;
I hope in this case you can help the guy learn he’ll get much more from his employees if he treats them with respect. Dictator and/or bully bosses only look good for so long and then they either have to modify their ways or they get overthrown.
Note: This post comes from a comment and response found in another Work Coach post:
About the author…
Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, Career Nook and on Google+.