ATI-Mirage Blog

Dealing with difficult bossesDealing with difficult bosses

Posted by Wendy Wilson | Learning & Development Consultant on 05-July-2018




In his book Coping with toxic managers, subordinates … and other difficult people, Roy H. Lubit states that:



[Some managers] are unfair, inconsiderate, and rigid-and you curse the day the company hired them.  Some of these managers think that they are heaven’s gift to your company, even though working with them makes you wonder why the heavens have decided to punish you so severely. (p 2)



Head of department standing and talking to smiling young employees in officeIt would be great to say that all managers treat everyone fairly within their organisations. And maybe they intend to, and even think they do. Generally speaking we connect more with some people than others.


Personality types, personal preferences, communication styles, etc. all combine to create infinitely similar and unique individuals.  Being able to deal effectively with difficult managers is a crucial factor relating to your own success and workplace enjoyment.


Singer Dobson shares many suggestions regarding what you can do when dealing with difficult managers, including:



    - Do great work

    - Build your skills and knowledge

    - Observe your boss’s style

    - Make sure you’re in tune with your boss’s goals

    - Give negative feedback well

    - Prepare for your meetings (including annual performance reviews)

    - Arrange your own performance appraisals regularly (as appropriate)

    - Demonstrate total loyalty and respect the chain of command

    - Treat your boss as a customer.

Over to you….


It may seem strange that the above suggestions are more focused on you rather than your manager; however, you are the only person you can actually change.


Within your power is the ability to change any relationship.  Reflect and answer the following questions:


    - What can I do/what are my choices?

    - How can I build an appropriate relationship?

    - How can I demonstrate support?

    - How do I contribute to the situation?

    - How do I need to modify my own behaviour?




Equip yourself to succeed:


Communication & Interpersonal Skills (with DiSC) course


Develop your Emotional Intelligence course


Manage Stress, Build Resilience course





Real People, Real Conversations, Real Results