Unfortunately, most working people have encountered the “bad” boss. Whether it was during an internship, that entry-level gig you took post-graduation, or somewhere along your trek up the corporate ladder, the results are the same. Having a bad boss stinks.
When the job market is hot, you can seek greener pastures, but often, even in the best of times geographic restrictions and family commitments can limit your ability to quickly exit the situation. If you find yourself in a career land lock, don’t despair. Simply switch into learning mode to make the most of the experience.
The first step is to identify what you feel makes the person a poor manager. If he/she lacks a managerial competency such as staff development, communication, or strategic planning, take time to learn those skills. The benefit it twofold. In the long-term, you’ll avoid duplicating the mistake. By you can also score a quick win by offering to lend a hand. Leaders can’t be good at everything and he or she may actually welcome your assistance if they are aware of the deficiency.
If it’s a question of style, again specificity helps. If he/she gives too little support or micromanages, introduce them to the concept of situational leadership so they can better match the support given to the competence level of the individual staff member. If the flaw is more pronounced or boarders on abusive such as taking credit for other’s work or publicly berating employees, shift gears and focus on getting a new job ASAP.
Of course, sometimes the bad boss dynamic stems from unacknowledged competition. This can happen when a manager is unable to delegate or needs to be the smartest person in the room. Another common catalysis results from a lack of professional respect. If you manager doesn’t value your experience or credentials, you may not be able to change things in the short term but remember the lesson. When it’s time to build your team focus on performance rather than titles or degrees. And always, respect everyone.
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Check out my latest book The HR Guide to Getting and Crushing Your Dream Job and follow me on Twitter at @timtoterhi or LinkedIn