Part 4 – My Boss Stinks! – Top 7 Tips on How to Deal With Poor Management

by | Mar 26, 2010 | Blog, Management

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

Alright. So after our little break from the bad bosses blog series to go over some of the finer ways to deal with March Madness in your office, we bring to you today the final posting in the bad bosses blog series.  The first post in the series got some very heavy exposure in the blogosphere community. Make sure you check that out along with the rest.  Here are links to the first three in case you missed them.

How to Deal With Poor Management – Part 1
How to Deal With Poor Management – Part 2
How to Deal With Poor Management – Part 3

So without further adieu, here is the final post in the beating bad bosses blog series, courtesy of IntegrityHR.

So, what do you do if you are unfortunate enough to have a bad boss? It’s a difficult situation, and one that you need to assess thoroughly before taking any action. However, here’s the best advice that we can provide to you. The first three topics covered all the different types of bad bosses, in (we admit) quite a bit of detail. The last post is your Top 7 Tips on How to Deal With Poor Management.

1. Document accurately

Write down issues that are affecting you and your ability to meet your goals in the workplace. Be prepared to present them in a diplomatic, practical way. That is, while your feelings are important, don’t rely only on hurt feelings as being the problem. You need to be able to show that the manager’s behavior is negatively impacting the performance of the workplace. Also, don’t accuse the manager of being one way or another – simply state the facts and how the situations are affecting you and your colleagues.

2. Remain Objective and Professional

Don’t get emotional when preparing your argument, and don’t get angry. You need to remain professional throughout the exercise and show that while you are looking out to be certain you are getting the respect you deserve, you are also looking out for the betterment of the company as a whole. Getting emotional and angry can cause colleagues and upper management to lose respect for you, and can reduce the credibility of your argument.

3. Talk to the Boss – i.e. Communicate

It’s possible he or she is not aware of the behavior that is causing him or her to be a bad boss. Be courageous – many people are afraid to confront a boss, and justifiably so. It takes nerve to confront someone who can make your life miserable, but since they are already doing that, you have little to lose.

Ask for a meeting so that you will have time to discuss without interruptions, and have an agenda with notes prepared so that you won’t get flustered when it comes time to talk. Have your documents with you. Be brave, and be respectful. If your manager is not aware of any of these things, be understanding, and offer suggestions for improvement and what you need from him or her in order to reach mutual goals. If your boss is aware of his or her behavior and doesn’t see a need to change, move on to step 2.

4. Be worthy of respect and ask for it

Tell your boss that you expect to be treated respectfully in the workplace, and provide examples of ways in which he or she has treated you disrespectfully.  Be careful not to be too direct.  This can often come across as an attack.  Be sure to make it known that you’re only trying to increase the company’s performance beforehand.

5. Continue to Document Problems

Maintain your list of issues that are reoccurring. Eventually, you may have to escalate the situation to someone higher in management, and you will need an accurate list of what occurred before and after your talk with the boss. Include dates.

6. Escalate to Upper Management or HR.

If the behavior continues after confronting your manager, go to Human Resources, or to upper management, according to company policy. Your employee handbook should have a policy to tell you how to report complaints (typically referred to as “conflict resolution” or “grievances”). This is when your documentation comes into play, and it’s another reason why it was so important that you spoke to your manager first yourself. It shows that you were professional and mature enough to try to resolve the matter on your own at departmental level.

7. Recognize when it’s time to leave.

Sometimes, you do need to just walk away. There are situations when managers are toxic because the organization itself is toxic, and that’s not a situation you are likely to change on your own. There’s no shame in taking the high road and walking away, rather than risk letting the negative atmosphere impact other areas of your life, such as your home and family.

Always remember that good can come of a bad situation.  If you are forced to leave, learn from the experience, and apply that knowledge in potential future situations.  You can beat your bad boss.  If you try hard enough, maybe you can even have their job. 🙂

Be on the lookout next week for a new topic. We’ve got some interesting stuff brewing in the IntegrityHR Blog Lab.

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