We all pray to have the best bosses, to work under people who would tolerate our shortcomings, and be on the active lookout for any opportunity to contribute to our growth. However, the world we live in thrives on diversity and the good and the bad must exist for balance. For every amazing boss that exists, there is another boss somewhere else being less than tolerable. That is why most job search sites like HubforJobs create an avenue for former employees to leave reviews on hiring companies/employers, so applicants can tell if they’ll be dealing with overbearing employers or not.
Well, until you get the boss of your dreams, here are a few ways to deal with the one that is a nightmare to work with.
What are the Signs that You Work for an Overbearing Employer?
- He is controlling.
- Your opinions are never requested or given audience.
- He never praises you or appreciates your efforts.
- He capitalizes on your mistakes.
- You are not allowed to work independently, but must run everything by him.
- He makes you do all the work yet takes credit for it.
- You feel victimized or overworked and underpaid.
Ten Ways to Deal with Overbearing Employers
Evaluate Your Work Attitude
Before you point accusing fingers at your boss, you want to be sure that his actions are not a reaction to how you make him feel. If your boss is constantly going off on you for not meeting deadlines, it could be because he feels that you don’t take your job seriously enough. Evaluate your work attitude, reflect on how you respond to his directives and instructions, and effect changes to any areas that you may need improvement.
Figure Out What Triggers His Outbursts, and Avoid It
Does your boss flair up at sarcastic comments? Then try not to make them within his hearing. Does he detest lateness, horseplay, or unnecessary chatter? Show up to work 10 minutes early every day and limit casual interactions with your colleagues until you’re out of the office environment.
Identify what triggers his outbursts and avoid them, and he would be unable to fault you.
Protect Your Peace, Don’t Take His Words/Actions to Heart
When someone you are trying to please constantly berates you and finds fault in your actions, it can feel like you are the problem. However, you must understand that overbearing employers are mostly just insecure people that take out their frustrations on others to feel better. Half the time they are struggling with personal issues (or under pressure from superiors) and are jealous of you for seeming to have your life put together. It’s not you, it’s them. Give your best efforts to the job, but never second guess yourself or look down on yourself because of what he said to you.
Make Excuses to Yourself on His Behalf
Remind yourself that your boss is only human and is susceptible to caving under pressure. When he snaps at you unnecessarily, alleviate the anger building up within you by assuming that he is just having a bad day, even if that means he has a bad day every day.
Always Remain Professional in Your Interactions with Him
We are human and responding to negative emotions with a fair amount of fire is normal. However, you must suppress your annoyance at his character when you interact with him. You don’t want to leave a bad impression of yourself on the minds of other staff members. Politely ask for clarification when needed, and maintain professionalism. Never give in to the temptation to trade words with him, your snide remarks would only aggravate issues, and he might get violent.
Keep him updated on the progress of the project, emphasizing each milestone that you have attained. Offer updates even before he asks for them and request his opinion before he gives it. Stay one step ahead of him every time and have reports ready before he signals for them. Also have personal copies of every project you have worked on together, in case of any misunderstanding and he tries to pin the blame on you.
Call His Attention to His Behavior and How it Affects Your Productivity
Request a personal meeting with him and communicate how his behavior towards you affects your productivity. Be diplomatic and try to focus on how it affects team progress and the quality of future projects. Do not make it about how you feel, no matter how bad he made you feel. If your boss is truly a jerk, he wouldn’t care about how you feel, as long as you get the job done. You want to center it around what he cares about which is the job.
If he was just acting out because he was under pressure from his superiors, you would get an apology and a promise for a better relationship going forward. However, if he does not react positively and instead, lashes out at you for speaking up, it’s time to take things a step further.
Send a Report to HR
Send an email to the human resource manager, stating your complaint and citing a few examples. Write about how it makes you feel, and how it affects your productivity at work. Make sure to include details of your private meeting with him in the letter.
Be on the Lookout for Better Job opportunities.
While tolerating your boss’s excesses and waiting for feedback from HR, keep an eye out for better job opportunities that you can apply for and migrate to. An overbearing employer that refuses correction is a toxic person and might never change. You may have to leave the company for the sake of your mental health. Make sure to read through the reviews posted about the company on the job search site before you apply, you want to ensure that you are not walking out of a hot pan into a fire.
Send in your Resignation Letter
No amount of money is worth the damage a toxic or overbearing employer can do to your mental health. Especially if you discover that he only picks on you and not the rest of the team, it is time to leave that establishment to one with a less toxic environment.
Employers are under a lot of pressure to ensure that their businesses run smoothly, as a result, they might sometimes come across as controlling, bad-tempered and overbearing. While some employers handle this pressure expertly and still maintain a good work relationship with their employees, some cannot, and end up taking out their frustrations on the employees.
As a professional working under such an employer, it can feel annoying and demeaning when you are treated badly in the workplace. However, you cannot change a person who doesn’t see any fault in themselves. You can only work on delivering your best and protecting your mental health.
See every bad experience with overbearing employers as insight on how you shouldn’t treat your employees when you become a boss of your own.
I hope this article was of value to you.