As Ricky Gervais’s David Brent hits the big screen this Friday, we consider the only too real phenomenon of the bad boss, or line manager, and what to do if you have one.
Do you work for an ineffective manager like David Brent? Or maybe you’re one of the 44% of employees who dislike their boss more than the controversial Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins?!
Bad bosses or managers come in many shapes, but one thing is certain a bad boss can ruin a job – with one recent survey finding that nearly half of respondents had a left a job because of a bad boss.
Whether it’s lack of recognition, lack of empathy – a People Management magazine piece featured a boss who told an employee with cancer to use annual leave rather than sick leave, for example – or overwork, dealing with a bad boss can be tricky.
So, if your boss times your typing speed with a stopwatch or bites themselves in a rage don’t get down get…
No, not even. Perspective:
While your boss might seem to lack empathy that doesn’t mean you should join them.
Ask yourself if there is a reason for their behaviour. Tweet: Ask yourself if there is a reason for boss behaviour. @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday goo.gl/8U0Ooo
Why? If they’re new they could be nervous or maybe they’re under top down pressure – basically if their behaviour has nothing to do with your work performance thinking like this gives you a sense of control in what can seem like a very unbalanced situation.
And, we don’t mean shout. While it may be tempting to give a boss a piece of your mind don’t! Tweet: We don’t mean shout. While it may be tempting to give a boss a piece of your mind don’t! @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday goo.gl/8U0Ooo
Useful in conflict situations Non-Violent Communication (NVC) aims to find solutions without resorting to shame, blame or threats.
Remember connection is important at work because it takes common understanding and trust to collaborate in order to move towards your overall goal.
Clear, empathic communication, NVC style consists of four steps:
Observations – state purely factual observations, with no component of judgement or evaluation.
Feelings – State the feeling that the observation is triggering in you. Or, guess what the other person is feeling, and ask.
Needs – State the need that is the cause of that feeling. Or, guess the need that caused the feeling in the other person, and ask.
Requests – Ask clearly and specifically for what you want right now. Don’t hint, state what you don’t want only, or make a demand.
Keep a record:
If the relationship is truly problematic it’s important to keep an account of events. Tweet: If the relationship is truly problematic it’s important to keep an account of events. @Angel_HR_UK #MyUSPMonday goo.gl/8U0Ooo
According to ACAS a workplace investigation would “…aim to establish the facts of the matter by collecting relevant evidence, such as witness statements, written documents and physical evidence and drawing a conclusion.”
Have your own back:
A victim of a bad boss this Psychologies magazine reader wrote:
“I had a terrible time at work last year when my boss accused me of being incapable of doing my job. [I] proved her wrong. I feel that … my confidence is a little shot. I’m becoming fearful of everything – fearful of life, getting another job, and moving on, in case that’s worse.”
In reply agony aunt, Mary Fenwick, advised on, yes, gratitude.
You might think: Pah! But: “Gratitude, it seems, is a key—perhaps the key—to feeling more satisfied with your life,” says University of California, Berkeley. You can listen to their Science of Gratitude Radio Special here.
Simply writing down the things you’re grateful for has been proven to enhance mood and improve stress – so get scribbling!
Are you working for an ineffectual or stressful boss? What are you doing about it? Need any guidance on your next steps? Let us know! Any particular issues or insights? Need help? Let us know!
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