Find out how to handle a boss like a boss
Nobody’s perfect, and as you may have noticed, managers are no exception. Unfortunately, it is highly likely that you will, at one point or another, have issues with your boss. So, here are a few pointers on how to handle a boss like a boss:
Observe and understand
First off, observe your manager. Notice their reactions around the office – what seems to make them angry, to increase their stress levels, but also what makes them smile and relax. Understanding your supervisor could go a long way toward improving your relationship with them.
Then, and as demanding as this might be, try to put yourself in your boss’ shoes, if only for a little while. A management role comes with great responsibilities. It can happen that they are harsh with you because they need quick results. Otherwise they can easily lose patience because they have too much on their plate.
Regrettably, your leader is not the only one who is flawed: everyone is, and so are you! So, try to be on your best behaviour, no matter what happens. Never lose your temper with them. Stay cool, calm and collected under all circumstance. You can let go of the anger and frustration at a later stage, away from the office (or at least away from your supervisor). If you are in a generous mood, you could even go the extra mile and try to anticipate your manager’s questions and needs – a happier boss is a happier you!
Respect always goes both ways, and superiors should not get an “out of jail free card” because of their position. As important as it is to remain civil and professional, it does not mean that you have to say “yes” all the time. If you feel like you are doing a good job, completing your tasks in an efficient and timely manner, there is nothing you should be worried about. If your boss often asks you to take on more duties that are not in your job description, you can politely refuse, (or ask for a pay rise.) If you feel like they are being disrespectful in any way, let them know. Make sure that you also set physical boundaries if you feel like this is an issue. If they tend to lean on your desk (or worse, on your shoulder) when they talk to you, tell them to stop.
If you feel like they’re being really unreasonable, borderline tyrannical, don’t hesitate to speak out. Never forget that, although they are your chief at work, they aren’t the boss of your relationship – you own 50% of it. So, be brave and go talk to them about your concerns. Often, supervisors are so absorbed in their jobs that they forget the human side of management – and that you are allowed to expect better from them. If you do not feel safe talking to them alone, choose a more public space than their office, or ask someone else to come to the meeting as a third-party. Avoid bringing your whole team into their office without warning. Chances are they will feel threatened and will not respond very well.
Don’t take what they do or say personally. When your work is being criticised, it is only your work and not you as a person. If you feel like your manager is being aggressive towards you, take the time to check that it is only towards you – or could it be the way they act with everyone? In any case, defend yourself. Do not let stress and emotions submerge you and induce the changes you want to see in your manager by reacting differently.
Additionally, may your bad experiences with leaders serve as a lesson – do a bit of research about your future supervisors before accepting a job!