No one likes their boss is what most people think when you tell them that you have a toxic boss but that is not always the case. There are more toxic bosses than good ones in most workplaces and most people have to endure the torment every day because they don’t have a choice. After all, the only thing worse than a bad boss is being jobless and the least you can do to keep your job is take a beating. It gets worse sometimes and you may be forced to seek legal help or quit but that is only the last resort of these 10 other tricks you may use.
Play Along But Be Smart
Most bosses will bully you around, especially when you are new, just testing how much you can take in and to see how short your breaking point is. If you have such a boss who is hard on you and probably abuses you verbally or by failing to recognize your hard work or just makes your work-life difficult without going to the extremes, diplomacy may be a smart approach. Take your time to understand them and just play along doing your best to complete your work so that they don’t have an excuse to be mad at you and not fighting back aggressively.
Just show them that you have what it takes to get your job done even in a stressful environment. The furthest you can go is strike a dialogue where you explain yourself and also try to understand your boss’s perspective. In most cases, you will strike a common ground and the harshness will fade or you will get used to it and realize that you can actually manage without losing your paycheck.
Take The High Road
Your boss may be abusive but you have to be a professional at your workplace and sometimes, that requires you to be the bigger guy. If your boss abuses you verbally, ridicules you, makes negative comments among other things that tempt your breaking point, you can fight it by ignoring or simply playing the unbothered professional card.
Just keep your opinion and feelings to yourself and walk away or continue doing your work. When you keep brushing off the abuse each time, they may end up looking stupid or simply grow to understand you. The best-case scenario is that they also become professional and the workplace becomes friendly. It never harms to be the bigger guy when handling a bully, at least for the short term.
Put Up A Silent Fight
This may sound like the weaker guy’s choice but it isn’t. It is just another diplomatic way of defending yourself and probably keeping your job while at it. When someone gives you weird looks, bad comments, a silent treatment or they are generally rude to you, they are probably provoking you to react. Your reaction may actually be used as a weapon against you, so it would be wise to just brush it off with silent actions. Just keeping quiet, continuing to dress the way you like, doing only your designated tasks at work and such actions will keep you out of harm’s way while also fighting your battles for you. You just keep being yourself and doing your job while pissing off the bully or discouraging them without even saying anything.
Concentrate On Your Work
Even the worst bosses in the world know that finding a hardworking employee that gets the job done isn’t easy. Ignoring a bully and just doing your job will save you so much trouble in your workplace, especially if your boss is abusive. Just go to work, get the tasks that are required from you and focus on them. Forget the office politics and everything else. Concentrating on your work means you are using less emotional energy and time thinking about your boss, which also gives your boss fewer avenues to interact with you and bully you. At the end of the day, both of you are on the winning side.
Keep Your Distance
It is hard to avoid your boss in most workplaces, but it would be wise to avoid an abusive one whenever you can. Just do your work and keep out of your boss’s way for as long as you can, even if it means working from a different office, working from home or whatever method that gives the geographical space you need. It will be hard for an abusive person to concentrate on you and hurt you if you are not in each other’s way all the time and that will help.
Make Friends At Work
Your time at work will only be worse if you don’t have a network, you can fall back on when the boss is too hard on you and abusive. If you make friends, then you have someone in your corner and no bully can confidently attack someone that is part of a pack. You have to get people in your workplaces that are like-minded and who can take your side when someone is hurting you. Some of the best friends you will ever make, who will stand with you all your life, are at your workplace.
As much as you may try to avoid this step, it may be unavoidable at one point or another when dealing with an abusive boss and you will have to stand up to them. You have to be professional while doing though, meaning you look for the most civilized way to express your disappointments with them. Just be bold and tell them that you are humiliated and hurt by the way they treat you and that you deserve better or they should at least tell you how they want you to behave so that they will be satisfied. If they are physically abusive, especially if it is sexual, you may have to get physical to defend yourself and if that is the case, don’t be afraid to do it. Otherwise, you should avoid that step as much as possible, especially if you still need your job after the confrontation.
Report To The HR
Most modern organizations have independent HR offices who will protect your rights at the workplace and will be willing to help you if you are being abused. You have to ensure that you have some evidence or basis for reporting your boss though so that it won’t be just your word against theirs because that might ruin your job and leave you destroyed.
If the organization’s HR office is not an option, then going legal may be the only resort you have. Reporting to HR or to the authorities may also mean that you no longer have a job or in the best-case scenario, you get a transfer or your boss fired. Therefore, when taking this step, you may need to have your best employment attorney you can get so that your benefits, rights and privacy are protected.
Request For A Transfer
Changing a shift or a department so that you don’t have to deal with your boss should be your last defensive action when dealing with an abusive boss. If all the diplomatic approaches failed, you can seek managerial assistance so that you no longer have to work under that person if that is an option. If you have followed the previous steps and reported the harassment to HR and your colleagues, your transfer should be easy to achieve. You will have enough defence on your side as you make your request. This should only come as the final resort once you realize that you just can’t stand working with your boss anymore.
Abusive bosses ruin people’s lives by causing serious mental and physical health problems among other lifelong issues that you don’t have to endure just because you need a paycheck. If you realize that none of the aforementioned steps will help you, it would be safe to quit. Once you realize that you are dealing with an abusive boss, it would be smart to start exploring other work options while applying the diplomatic steps we mentioned and once you have a better choice for a job, just walk away while your life is still intact. You don’t have to wait until you have another job if things are tough though, you can quit then take legal action against the workplace while looking for your next job.