What To Do When Your Boss Acts Like An A**hole
“My boss is a jerk!”
In the professional world, there is a belief that women are too emotional and react emotionally in very practical situations. This is a toxic belief and during my corporate career I have found it has a big negative impact on many girls.
Emotions are nothing more than signals about whether what is happening is good or bad for you. By calling women emotional in an offensive context, you create a sense of guilt, which makes them disregard their intuition that a certain experience is wrong. As a result, layer after layer of negative feelings are being kept inside, eventually leading to low productivity, impulsive decisions and burn-out.
Significantly emotional experiences could be created in a girl’s work environment when her boss tends to act like an a**hole. In this case, women should definitely not ignore their feelings that something wrong is happening and should face the issue head on. Still, just to confirm we are not in fact overreacting, before we go on to describe how to handle this, let us first determine when our boss falls into this category.
A Jerk Boss Is A Boss Who:
- …Is way too emotional himself, but tries to make the girls feel bad about it. He yells and acts childish. You never know how a conversation with him will unfold.
- …Talks employees down to other employees. You can be sure he talks you down too.
- …Fails to provide on his promises, but he never forgets your mistakes.
- …Uses offensive words. Nothing can excuse this behavior in a work environment.
Bosses who do all or some of the above are extreme in the opposite way too – they can be very nice, give you bonuses and presents, pat you on the back and give you important projects you were interested in. This actually proves they are a**holes, because their behavior lacks any logic. So you get stressed out never knowing what mood they will be in and no good work can be completed under that amount of stress.
The obvious solution is to quit, but let’s say you really need this job and/or like the essence of it.
What are your options?
There are three main contexts in which you communicate with your manager. In each of those, there is a specific behavior, which guarantees you calmer business days.
Even if the boss we are talking about is not your direct manager, you may still have contacts with him in your day-to-day work and these contacts terrify you. The truth is a jerk boss is used to causing terror, so he expects you to avoid him. As a manager, he may even use this method to make you do your job without making you do your job – if he is around and you are bothered by his presence, you will immediately find something to do and/or fix any errors, so you stay unnoticed.
As with most fears, in order to concur it, you need to face it. Accept and when appropriate, seek you bosses guidance. Share your troubles with him. Tell him honestly there has been a mistake and what are you doing to fix it. First of all, you will surprise him and gain his respect for being open and professional, focused on the interests of the company. Second, when you admit a problem and propose a solution, you distract your boss from “what a tragedy just happened” and help him focus his attention on the way out of it.
During a Conflict
As we already mentioned above, during a conflict your boss may get emotional, may yell or even start calling you names. If you follow your feelings, you may want to slap him or leave the room, but if you want to be the bigger professional, then be the antidote to his behavior. Realize that his reaction is most probably not about you at all – it’s about him. Often managers, who don’t get their way, see themselves as a failure and this triggers the emotions. The right thing to do here is to keep your cool and say something like “With all due respect, I don’t think your behavior is helping us right now.” Then proceed with listing options for solving the conflict.
To A Really Good Offer
You may think you know what you should do in this case – take it, and I am not saying you shouldn’t. But keep your eyes open for traps. Receiving an almost too-good-to-be-true offer from your boss is just an expression of his opposite extreme, and you are ought to take advantage of it after the hell you’ve been trough. Before you do though, consider the following:
- Is it clear what your responsibilities are? – Mean bosses will often propose something amazing in a moment of weakness, just to compensate for being mean. So they come up with a project they know you will like and they know they can use, but are not sure how exactly they can use it yet. Make sure to get this out in the open in the beginning, or it will be your fault later on for not reading their mind.
- How engaging is it? – I have been offered partnerships in a business that I am just not interested in pursuing. It could have brought in good money, but it would have taken all my time and attention for years to come and I was not willing to spend that time there.
- What’s in it for him? – If you are having difficulties reaching clarity on your responsibilities, let this be your guiding star. He may not have thought this trough, but you should know at all times what’s in it for your boss. If you know that and work in the direction of getting him that, you will continue to get good offers.
These simple steps can make you your manager’s favorite. Not that this is a title you need to be pursuing, but it would make your life so much easier – like a blizzard turned into a breeze.