A bad boss can be a major challenge. Even a neutral relationship with your boss can be a challenge since you won’t feel inspired by them as a leader. But effectively managing relationships with people you don’t love or like is still an essential part of being a successful professional. Whatever your situation, there are skills you can learn to improve your relationship with your boss and continue honing those skills throughout your career.

  • Focus on solutions, not problems. It can be easy to get caught up in the drama of a workplace. But narrowing in on the negative things instead of the positive ways you can solve the problem won’t get you a lot of bonus points from your boss. If you’re in a meeting or asked to accomplish a task, don’t complain about it, just share your ideas for a solution.  
  • Take responsibility. You may be afraid if you mess up and admit it, you may lose your job. But you’re far more likely to have negative repercussions for passing the buck or lying about the resolution when there wasn’t one. Just accept what happened, apologize and solve it. 
  • Improve communication. Communication between you and a not-so-great boss can sometimes be tricky. Things said over email or text can be misinterpreted or body language can send exactly the wrong message. Don’t get frustrated. Instead, spend some time improving your ability to communicate verbally, nonverbally, and in writing to make sure your message always comes across.
  • Discuss issues before they blow up. You never want to be blindsided, so don’t do it. Don’t bring up a problem in a group meeting to single anyone out, including your boss. If you have a problem, discuss it immediately with whomever it concerns. Otherwise, people may feel attacked and get defensive rather than receptive to your message.
  • Do what you say you will. No matter what, if you say you will do something, do it. It doesn’t matter how big or small the task is, you have to live up to your word. If you are unable to complete a project or run into roadblocks, let the other person know as soon as possible so you can develop a solution together.  
  • Mentor other employees. If you have concerns about your boss, it’s likely other people in your office do as well. Take initiative to be the leader they’re looking for. Do what you can to help others in your office communicate better, accomplish tasks and hit deadlines.

Do you want to find a job with a great boss? Contact the recruiters at ProStaff to see what we’re working on today.