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We’ve all encountered them in one way or another — superiors that are hard to please, irritable, arrogant, or refuse to accept suggestions. Instead of providing good guidance and leadership, they seem to be making the office an unbearable and frustrating place to work in.

On the other hand, try to put yourself in the shoes of your boss. Maybe he or she is under a lot of pressure at work or at home. Or perhaps your boss has personality traits that you simply have to face regularly. In any case, this article suggests several ways for dealing with a difficult boss.

Guide to Dealing with a Difficult Boss

#1 – Identify your boss’ negative traits.
The first step to dealing with negative traits is by identifying them. What exactly does your boss say or do that makes them “difficult”? The more you know about their personality, the more you can avoid situations that bring out their negative traits.

#2 – Keep calm and continue working.
Sales and operations may not be doing so well lately. Your boss may be having a bad day; he or she may be under pressure from the upper management. Whatever the case, try staying calm and keep doing what you’re supposed to do. Oftentimes, it helps to simply be quiet and wait for the issue to pass. You may even gain the trust of your boss with your positive behavior.

#3 – Avoid gossip and negative talk.
This seems to be a common situation at work. When a boss is being difficult, the employees tend to gossip and talk rather than address the situation directly. Engaging in gossip will only worsen things; it may even get you in trouble. It is always best to steer clear of negative talk and let the HR department (or the persons directly concerned) handle the matter.

Identifying your bosses’ negative traits is the first step towards understanding them.

#4 – Confront gently and tactfully.
If you think that you personally need to intervene, consider confronting your boss gently and tactfully. Talk to your boss about his or her trait that affects employees negatively. At the same time, express your willingness to help. If your boss responds positively, then this could be the first step towards improving the situation at work.

#5 – Focus on improving yourself.
Ideally, the boss should act as a guide or mentor to employees. Unfortunately, some bosses don’t seem to care about teaching their employees and focus only on themselves. If this is the case, then you may need to find ways of learning by yourself. Consider reading books, watching inspirational talks, or joining seminars that can help you improve as a person.

#6 – Don’t make the same mistakes.
Try to imagine how you would act in place of your boss. Will you do or say the same things? Will you become a “difficult boss” yourself? Now that you know which traits to avoid, make it a point not to develop them yourself. Instead, seek better ways of communicating and managing at work.

Working with a difficult boss is not easy, but it is not impossible either.

Working with a difficult boss is not easy, but it is not impossible either. Stay calm, keep doing your job, and seek helpful ways of dealing with your superior. With a good attitude and keen insight, you can help turn a negative situation into a positive one.

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