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Explore 25 do’s and don’ts of dealing with a bad boss. When you are dealing with a bad boss, work is unbearable. Stress creeps in and productivity declines. Knowing the ways of dealing with a bad boss can make a huge difference to your work life.

25 Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with a Bad Boss


By Catherine Adenle

Dealing with a bad boss is vital if you’ve ever had a boss who drove you and other employees bonkers. These are bosses who would give assignments with nil instructions but then micromanage you to death while you do the assignment. These type of bosses kiss up and kick down. They can throw you under the bus in a heartbeat. These bosses are perfect examples of the workplace reasons why great organizations lose top talents because they leave once they encounter bad bosses.

Before you explore ways of dealing with a bad boss, or jump to the conclusion that your boss is bad, first, be sure that your boss is indeed bad. Is there a reason for your boss’s behaviour, are you doing the job that you should be doing, are you a good employee or are you being too hard on your boss?
Self reflection is great and it should be observed first.

So, give a week to your boss and monitor his or her behaviour while you mind yours. At the end of the week, if you reach the same conclusion, then your boss is bad and these do’s and don’ts will help you in dealing with a bad boss.

See 35 Undisputed Ways to Know a Bad Boss

Dealing with a bad boss
If you had a bad boss, what actions would you take? Dealing with a bad boss is tricky, how would you manage a bad boss?

Read our article, and follow these general rules for dealing with a bad boss or a boss who is monumentally ineffective.

Dealing with a bad boss require that you:

1. Do everything right
2. Do examine your own behaviour at work
3. Do what you are getting paid to do, how productive are you?
4. Do remain polite, hardworking and professional
5. Do act professionally in all situations.
6. Do compile a list of your boss’s bad behaviour
7. Don’t reduce your productivity, feign illness, or otherwise compromise your job.
8. Do find a mentor — within or outside the organization.
9. Don’t confront your boss in an emotionally-charged rant.
10. Do consider scheduling a meeting with your boss to discuss ways your boss could change his/her behaviour.
11. Don’t go to the boss of your boss, except as a last resort.
12. Do find an outlet to vent your frustrations and anger
13. Don’t plot against your boss with co-workers.
14. Don’t bad-mouth your boss, it might get back to him or her.
15. Don’t expect your boss to change — or at least change overnight.
16. Do watch for opportunities to transfer to another job or department within the company.
17. Don’t simply try and block out all the bad behaviour; doing so will impact your physical and mental health.
18. Do use your network to keep abreast of better opportunities outside the company. And do have your CV up-to-date and ready to send out.
19. Do keep a journal of incidents date and what happened
20. Do evaluate your performance on the job and consider ways to improve your behaviour, but don’t blame yourself for a bad boss.
21. Don’t think you are alone in having a bad boss; several studies suggest that many of us have to deal with a bad boss at one time or another in our careers.
22. Don’t sacrifice your health of self-esteem by staying in the job for the sake of a job.
23. Do consider quitting your job if continuing to work for your bad boss is likely to permanently damage your career — even if you don’t have an immediate new job lined up
24. Do continue to document all your accomplishments.
25. Do report your boss as a last resort

A study found that almost 80% of the employees surveyed identified their boss as lousy. And almost 70% in the study conducted by Delta Road stated that their immediate superior had “no clue” regarding what to do in order to become a good manager. Author Harvey Hornstein, estimates that 90% of the US workforce has been subjected to abusive behavior at some time. He based his conclusions on a survey of nearly 1,000 workers over a period of eight years.

See 10 Brilliant Tips for Dealing With a Difficult Boss

If you follow all these do’s and don’ts as stated above, on dealing with a bad boss and you find that your boss remains unchanged in his behaviour towards you, it may be time for you to seek another employment or change your department or team.

Life is to short to be unhappy at work because of an incapable boss.

Now that you know these 25 do’s and don’ts of dealing with a bad boss, what more can you add? Let’s hear from you, leave your comments below.

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Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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