Dealing with Bad Bosses

Bad Bosses

How Do You Deal With a Bad Boss?

Please check out this infographic courtesy of Compliance and Safety. They are focused on safety in the workplace and helping companies responsible for keeping you safe on the job.

I remember years ago, I was in the Los Angeles area doing some training. One of my attendees had a bad boss and was wondering how to deal with it. I suggested the following strategy.

On a Friday afternoon, walk into your bosses office and ask, “On a scale of 1-10, how do you think we work together?” Force them to give you a number. Then you say, “That’s interesting, because I would give it a _________, but I would like to take it to a 10. I was wondering if we could get together sometime next week and discuss ways that we could take it to a 10? What day works for you?”

When you get together, agree on two ground rules.

1. Don’t agree to do anything that you don’t intend to do, but if we say we’re gonna do it, let’s hold each other accountable to do it.
2. You cannot make your point, until you rephrase the other person’s point to his or her satisfaction.

Here’s the agenda for the discussion. By the way, send out the agenda ahead of time.

1. What is going well that we should continue doing?
2. What is getting in the way?
3. What specific requests do you have for improving the working relationship?

Document all agreements. Then have a 30 day, 60 day, and 90 day follow up meeting where you discuss the commitments that were made. The agenda for these meetings should be “Discuss and agree on how we are doing with the commitments we made. If you can have this dialogue without the help of an outsider, do it! If the relationship has eroded to the level that you need outside help, call me and I’ll facilitate the discussion.

A year later, I was at the same location in Los Angeles and my client walks in and says, “Are you going to be around awhile because somebody wants to talk to you”. The lady walked in who I had coached in addressing the bad boss situation. She stopped by to tell me that it had worked and as she put it, “I enjoy coming to work for the first time”. She also said that it was a good thing that she hadn’t quit, because soon thereafter, her husband was laid off and they would have had two unemployed people in the family. I love it when a plan comes together.

What techniques have you discovered for dealing with or repairing bad relationships?