Trapped in a bad boss – employee relationship?

“Experiencing a toxic boss (female) at the moment, complete nightmare. I went on medical leave 4 months after starting a new job and when I returned I was given 2 work options. I picked the small project option. She has set out to sabotage it for the entire 8 months I have been working on it. Have been looking for another job within the same company for that entire 8 months…so far no luck.” – JC from Is your boss trying to sabotage your career . . . and what you can do about it!

trapped 3

Have you ever had to deal with a difficult relationship? It is to be certain not easy.

However, a difficult relationship becomes even more trying when it happens to be with your boss. Especially if like most people, you are dependent upon your job to pay the bills and keep a roof over your head.

As a result, you likely feel trapped and powerless.

In such a situation, work life becomes an exercise in endurance as opposed to being a rewarding and productive experience.

The question then becomes; what can I do about it?

“The lesson I learned was if your boss hates you, get out.” – RMS from Is your boss trying to sabotage your career . . . and what you can do about it!

Do I have to quit, suffer in silence or do I speak up and risk getting fired?

In today’s post I will zero in on the 5 key steps that will empower you to take back the reigns of your career aspirations, whatever they may be (and wherever they may lead).

1. Determine If You Are The Only One

While you do not want be seen as inciting rebellious behavior among co-workers or against the corporate culture, you’re probably not alone in your experiences in dealing with a difficult boss – employee relationship. In this regard, it’s important to seek feedback from fellow employees whom you trust (emphasis on the word trust), to confirm if the strain in your relationship with your boss is limited to an isolated personality conflict, or an overall management style.

A cautionary note, while it is important to seek meaningful feedback, you do not want to become a charter member of the “I hate the boss” movement. Getting caught in a commiserators club, will actually trap you more as opposed to setting you on the path to freedom.

2. Know With Whom You Are Dealing

If there appears to be a pattern of behavior on the part of your boss that extends to his or her relationship with other employees, then the next step would be to try and understand why they are compelled to act in such a manner.

There are some bosses who truly do not know that their behavior is problematic (The Reasonable Toxic Boss), or believe that this is in fact the most effective way to lead or manage people (The Rational Toxic Boss).

Regardless of the personality type, gaining this much needed perspective will help you to determine the next course of action you can take to resolve relationship issues with your boss.

3. Plan Your Approach

Based on feedback from your fellow employees, you have determined that it is not you, but the boss who is mostly responsible for the disconnect.

You have also identified your boss’ personality type, by the manner in which they deal with others.

You are now ready to approach your boss in terms of attempting to have a meaningful and productive dialogue.

For example, with the Rational Toxic Boss, a conciliatory approach in which you seek his or her guidance on helping to improve relations makes the most sense. With the Reasonable Toxic Boss, merely creating constructive awareness may be the ticket to better days ahead.

The key point to remember at this point, is that like most people, your boss likely has their good traits as well as less than desirable traits. None of us are perfect. Don’t approach them from a position of anger or frustration, but one that is firm, respectful and conciliatory.

By taking this approach, their reaction may surprise you.

4. Managing The Aftermath

Depending on how the discussion goes, you should schedule regular meetings with your boss in an effort to ensure that you are helping them to achieve their objectives or goals.

Establishing a consistent line of communication will enable you to build a rapport through which both you and your boss can derive the greatest benefits.

5. No Matter What The Outcome . . .

Finally, and no matter what happens, “never” as Mark Twain so aptly put it “argue with stupid people,” as “they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

Always be both professional and courteous in your interactions with your boss no matter how unreasonable they may become. This rationale will help you to best showcase your true character as well as speak volumes to those watching, as you never know through whom your next opportunity may come.

Besides, conducting yourself is such a manner will both empower you as well as restore a sense of control over your life.

In conclusion, manage your attitude on a daily basis. How you view challenging situations will determine the outcomes you create, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Sid Ridgley

To quote Sid Ridgley, a pragmatic strategist, how you see the world, how you handle stress and how you manage relationships are all linked to your thinking patterns. You don’t have to change who you are but you must be flexible in communicating with all types of people. Your ability to think differently will help you to identify solutions that can weather the storm with challenging bosses.

In this context, I would like to leave you with the following saying that has, over the years, become increasingly meaningful to me.

You sow a thought and reap an act.

You sow an act and reap a habit.

You sow a habit and reap a character.

You sow a character and reap your destiny.


2015 Guide Cover

Do you know the difference between the fear of success and the fear of failure?

My guide How To Make 2015 Your Breakout Year will not only help you to recognize the common obstacles that befall all of us, it will also enable you to take action within the framework of your own unique gifts and abilities to make this year your most successful ever.



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