Bad bosses can influence the type of experience you have at work. In this episode, I share 3 ideas on how to deal with a bad boss.
Click play to listen now in your browser. The Career Confidence For Immigrants podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
You will also learn:
- Why you need to get more specific with the kind of “bad” we’re talking about
- What to do with a boss that is overly critical and never validates you
- How to overcome the fear of being assertive towards people we perceive to be in positions of power
- Why working for yourself isn’t too different when it comes to bosses
Full Transcript (I only post these when available):
Today it’s gonna be a shorter episode and I think everything that’s coming up this summer it’s gonna be shorter episodes as I will be getting busy taking care of my camper van rental business.
And for those of you who don’t know, as the multi passionate entrepreneur and human that I am, I run a camper van rental business in the summer here in Montreal for people who want to do camping with comfort and without having to set up a tent.
And now that the season is opening I will try to do these shorter episodes which are still gonna be packed with tools to manage your mind and your emotions and have the career and life you want.
So today we’re gonna discuss the essential question: How to deal with a bad boss. Because bad bosses can really influence the type of experience you have at work.
Now keep in mind that the advice I will share here works whether this is a boss or a client. People say “oh, you work for yourself, you don’t have bosses” but in fact, when you have your business, your clients have the potential to become your bosses too.
If you have a bad boss, the first thing you need to do is that you need to get specific when it comes to your definition of bad. We tend to think that “bad” is a universal thing, but bad can mean many things.
Are they a bad person because they’re a criminal? Do they yell? Do they have bad breath? Do they not know how to do their job? Do you wish they gave you more validation which currently they don’t do? You need to get specific with your idea of BAD, because as long as you stay with that idea of “oh, they’re just bad” you will not learn anything about your own preferences and needs and desires, because you’re being way too general.
The second thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not you think something about them can be changed. This is very important because if they are bad because they don’t share enough words of appreciation and validation, then you can choose to go ahead and make a suggestion about this specific behaviour.
Now, a lot of you will say “no, you don’t understand my situation, I cannot give any feedback to my boss, it’s impossible, I can’t do that”.
And I would like to clarify that so that you reframe that idea in a way that’s more empowering to you. It’s not true that you cannot do that.
Unless you are mute, but even then, you would have a way to communicate. When most people say “I cannot give any feedback” it often means “I’m afraid of the consequence if I share my feedback” or “I have a thought that I could get fired, or lose points or be penalized or die (if you have anxiety your brain may be dramatic like this) if I share my feedback”.
While these fears are legitimate, it’s important you recognize you can choose to share and voice your opinions and preferences. Telling yourself you cannot do it does not serve you.
Now, if you go the route of sharing feedback with people – whether that’s a client or a boss – remember: there’s a risk involved in that, like we said.
You never know how the other person will react and you don’t know whether they will comply with your suggestion. You may make an educated guess, but other people’s brains – even those of people who we love the most and are the closest with – are not our property so we can’t fully control them
Now the final tip that I have for today’s episode, is that, when it comes to you sharing feedback and voicing your concerns, you cannot escape the work of managing your mind and your emotions.
Whether you choose to communicate to that boss, create a boundary or whatever, you have to be able to take care of your emotional life regardless of whether they change their behaviour or not.
For example, if you have a thought in your brain that says “I feel bad cause I’m never recognized at work”. Then you created a rule that says you only feel good when you are recognized.
But as soon as you depend on someone else to give you that recognition or validation – however you wanna call it – you trap yourself.
You have to take care of your emotions first and give yourself validation if that’s what you need.
If the others comply with your suggestions and in doing so they help you feel better, good, but it’s your job to take care of your emotional life first and foremost.
Ok my friends. This was a quick episode but I hope it was helpful. And if you’re feeling down in a situation like this, there’s nothing wrong with that. Other people get on our nerves and that’s okay, but what’s important is that you recognize the power and responsibility that you have in that situation, because only then you will be able to make your choices clearly and confidently.
Remember: you are in charge of your emotional life.