Performing when stuck with a bad boss

At some point of time in our career, we end up working for someone with whom we are unable to strike a rapport or see eye to eye. Changing the job or role is an option, but may not always be easy. This would be impractical; especially if you like your work and the organization. Getting your boss fired is rarely an option. So life ends up feeling like a painful movie in slow motion.

I remember going through a situation like this where going to work every day became a challenge. I would practically drag my feet to work; and hop-skip-jump my way back home. After enduring this for few months, I realized that it was taking me nowhere. I did few things which I believe started helping me.

I stopped bemoaning my fate – I realized that I was achieving nothing by cribbing about my boss and demonizing him. I would talk about him with my family and close colleagues. Though it seemed to alleviate the pain momentarily, it really did not help. I ended up creating more negative energy for myself.

Decided to learn from the experience – Instead of getting upset whenever my boss did or said something which was not right, I started learning from his mistakes. I learnt ‘what not to do’ if I had to keep my own team motivated and be a good boss. To my horror, I realized that there were times I did things which I do not like myself as a subordinate. After all, it’s not always easy to hold a mirror to ourselves.

Tried to see him objectively – There was a time when I would critically view everything that he said or did. Even a hardened criminal is bound to have some strengths and positives in him or her. I decided to sieve the good from the bad. And started considering the positive things he did or said with right spirit. Mind you, it was not easy, especially given my frame of mind.

Finally, I decided to wait for the good times to return! We all know that life is not a bed of roses. But a thorny path can also not last forever. I assured myself by thinking, “this too shall pass

2 thoughts on “Performing when stuck with a bad boss

  1. Thanks for the brilliant insights. I Once remember reading a book to handle a very difficult boss and still could not figure a way out. Your experience of tackling this situation will help me handle one now. Thanks for sharing Padma!

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