Sep. 22, 2020
Tips on how to deal with a controlling boss
Coming to terms with an uncomfortable situation at your workplace may not be the easiest thing to do. It is even more difficult if it concerns your supervisor or direct manager. The easiest thing to do would be to quit and go elsewhere, but what can you do if that is simply not an option? Let’s say that your job is what you always wanted to do, your dream job. Giving up on the position you’ve always wanted because of your boss should never be an option to take. It is, however, if you don’t know how to deal with a controlling boss.
While we can try to avoid having to deal with toxic people in our lives or a toxic boss at work, we can’t always succeed. Whenever dealing with a toxic boss we should make sure you have a great support system and means to relieve stress at home. If you’re changing your department or company you work for then you can try studying the environment before taking the job. Getting to know things about your future boss before signing a contract can be a great thing and it can save you from years of unwanted stress. So invite a future colleague over for a coffee or anyone you know from that company or department and try, as casually as possible, to find out things about the boss.
Dealing with a bad boss
If you have been in a position for a while or are about to start a new job in another department at the same company or a new company altogether, you need to be aware of some bad boss characteristics and some difficult boss etiquette. You can get away from bad bosses by looking into a career in real estate. As many employees leave their jobs because of a toxic or bad boss there should be classes on how to deal with a toxic boss because the chances of encountering one are higher than we want to believe.
Coming to work every day and having to share the work atmosphere with a toxic boss can be damaging not only for your own mental health but for everyone else's. Not to mention the impact it would have on your work and the company productivity as a whole.
Some bad boss characteristics can be seen in daily office situations.
- Failing to give appreciation when it’s due
- Taking credit for employees work
- Being verbally abusive
- Promoting people based on favoritism not work
- Lashing out
- Having favorites
- Doesn’t know how to communicate
- Doesn’t lead by example
Some of these bad boss characteristics are more manageable than others and, with enough will and understanding between the two parties, they can be altered.
Communication really is key to solving conflicts or misunderstandings. Make sure you understand what your boss expects from you as well as make the boss understand what you need. Some people are used to a tight leash while others like to be nurtured. This is why communication and understanding are so important. Looking into real estate, teamwork is essential and building a real estate team that knows how to work together is very important. A boss, in any kind of company should be able to help the process and as a part of that team, any issues should be brought to the boss by the employees. If, however, the boss doesn’t respond well to suggestions we can go for the next step.
Other “qualities” are less likely to be changed and might even make things worse if you try to talk to your boss about them. Not many people who pick favorites like to be called out on it and even fewer are likely to change their bad boss etiquette. A boss should not give you anxiety attacks or yell at you, in any circumstances.
I remember once I went by the office of a potential new job and I still couldn’t be more relieved that I did not take that job. While one-on-one time with the boss they did seem friendly and warm, the moment someone overlooked a simple little thing that friendly, warm person turned into bosszilla.
For these impossible and inexcusable situations, the only viable answer might be a trip to HR. As the procedure implemented by HR is confidential and you might never see any result in some cases if the situation is critical there is a safety net.
Pay attention to your coworkers and see how the boss interacts with them and, most importantly, how they look at the boss. If everyone seems happy with the boss (slim chances) try talking to him/her, if it doesn’t work go to HR and if that doesn’t work … quit. If, however, your coworkers have similar views as yours, go to HR as a group. If the situation is presented from different people who experience the same bad management it is less likely to be subjective.
Micromanaging or Hawkeye
This little “quality” is one of the things that can be worked on. Micromanaging is something many bosses implement in their daily life but most of them have serious reasons as to why they do it. While living in an era when we have everything a touch away - yes, touch as you’re no longer clicking your smartphone - it is a common occurrence for people to spend too much time on their phones or chatting away with colleagues than they do working. It happens, just think about how often you check social media while at work. You get paid to work not to post what you had for breakfast.
If, however, you are a model employee and your boss still does this, consider why he/she is doing it first. Once you’re done considering that, if adding them to every email or checking the process every step of the way with them and everything else that makes you feel like they're looking over your shoulder every second, approach the situation. It also depends on the situation. While being asked to use Comic Sans in every document can be overlooked, a step-by-step explanation of what you did to get from point A to point B on a project might be something you need to work through. How? Through communication. I told you it’s the key to everything.
Micromanaging is also a trap newly appointed managers fall into, hopefully only until they find their pace. This little quirk can be fixed when the boss has vivid proof that you are doing your job great, taking care of their little quirks if they have them. In order to know how to deal with a controlling boss, you must be aware that trust plays a very important role.
The controlling boss’s behavior is primarily blamed on lack of trust, either in themselves or in you. So, you have to make sure that you give them no reasons not to trust you. If your job performance is great and the micromanagement affects your ability to work, communicate this to your boss.
“As your mentoring helped me develop my skills further since I started, I feel like I’m ready to swim without a vest. While I’ll certainly come to you if at any point I need guidance, my work will only improve with more freedom.”
Presentation is key so make sure you use the right words when you say this. There is no need to be spiteful or to criticize.
We all deserve the kind of boss that will provide the wind beneath our wings - if you want to be poetic - and in a stress-free working environment. There is a huge difference between dreading to go to work and enjoying your job. We should all only look forward to our weekend for the things that we can’t do while at work, not because it provides time away from the office. When dealing with a toxic boss you should, however, look into ways to destress and keep your mental health in check. A boss should not give you anxiety attacks or yell at you, in any circumstances.
Etiquette is important as is professional conduct. A great boss promotes a relaxing atmosphere and most certainly does not raise their voice at their employees and, maybe even more important, they should never intimidate or bully their employees. If at any point you encounter this, there are only two options and no reason to stay if the situation is not resolved. HR or the boss’s boss. Respect should be earned not demanded and leadership is something that not many have naturally, but it can be learned.