14 Tips for Dealing With a Difficult Boss

By Talentwolf

Man, I've had it with these impossible bosses. Whether they're micromanaging or constantly changing their expectations- dealing with a difficult boss is challenging to say the least! But luckily for me (and you), there are some pretty easy ways that can make this situation better...

Here are 14 tips for dealing with a difficult boss.

1. Establish clear communication from the start

From the very beginning, it's important to set up clear lines of communication with your boss. Make sure you understand their expectations and that they understand your work style. This will help avoid misunderstandings down the road.

2. Keep a positive attitude 

It can be difficult to remain positive when your boss is being difficult, but it's important to try. A positive attitude will go a long way in diffusing tense situations and will make you more likely to find common ground with your boss.

3. Avoid getting defensive

When your boss criticizes your work, it can be tempting to get defensive and try to justify your choices. However, this will only make the situation worse. Instead, try to listen to what they're saying and see if there's any validity to their criticism. If there is, consider making changes next time around.

4. Seek clarification when needed 

If your boss gives you unclear instructions or seems to be changing their mind constantly, don't be afraid to ask for clarification. This will help ensure that you're on the same page and that you're able to do your best work possible.


5. Find ways to build a relationship outside of work 

It can be helpful to find ways to connect with your boss outside of work, whether it's through shared interests or simply getting coffee together once in awhile. Building a rapport with your boss will make it easier to deal with them when disagreements arise.

6. Be willing to compromise when necessary

In any relationship, there will be times when compromise is necessary . If you're dead-set on something , be open to hearing your boss out and seeing if there might be a way to meet in the middle . This shows that you're willing to work together towards a solution .  

7. Don’t take things personally 

It’s easy to take things personally when your boss is being difficult, but try not letting their behavior affect you too much. It’s important to remember that their behavior is not necessarily reflective of how they feel about you as an individual.  

8. Build allies

No man is an island, even if it feels like you're all alone in dealing with a difficult boss. Talk to colleagues who might be in the same boat as you; together, you might be able tu brainstorm solutions or even just vent about the situation. But beware: gossiping about your boss behind their back is never okay, and it will only make things worse if they find out.

9. Focus on finding solutions, not placing blame.

When problems come up, instead of placing blame, try focusing on finding solutions. This shows that you ’re more interested in finding a resolution than in assigning fault. 

10. Try having a direct conversation 

If all else fails and nothing seems to be working, try having a direct conversation with your boss about the situation in a calm and professional manner. By doing so, you may be able open up lines of communication that can help improve the situation going forward.

11. Know when to speak up—and when to stay quiet

There's a time for everything, and that includes speaking up about an issue at work—but there's also a time for staying quiet. If you feel like something needs to be said, weigh the pros and cons first; sometimes, it's better not to rock the boat. 

12. Seek feedback early and often

One of the best ways to avoid criticism from your boss is to seek feedback early and often throughout a project. That way, you can course-correct before it's too late - and avoid getting scolded in front of everyone in the meeting room (which is always fun). 

13. Document everything 

Documentation is key when dealingwith a difficult boss; if there are ever any performance issues or disagreements ,you wantto make sure that there's a paper trail documenting what happened. This way, you'll have evidence onyour side if things ever escalate.

14. Know when to throw in the towel 

Sometimes, no matter how much you try, the situation isn't going to improve; in this case, you might need to accept that fact and reconsider whether the job is right for you long-term. If push comes to shove and there's no resolving the issue with your boss, then quitting might be the best option for you.