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How to Deal with a Negative Supervisor?

Author : Steven De Nazareth

Updated : June 11th, 2019

Sometimes your supervisor would find it difficult to be in sync with their surroundings and find it hard to stay relevant. This makes them usually come across as negative, self-centered, driven by numbers and treat their employees as resources and not as human beings. As subordinates, we usually excuse them for their lack of knowledge or rude behavior because they are your immediate manager or because they are known as the rainmaker in the company. Also, policies may be created in their favor and this makes it difficult to fire them.

How to deal with a negative supervisor
There may be several ways to approach this. As an employee, you could choose to create a Renewal Process where you could look to find scope in assisting your manager to determine where the company is headed. Questions like “What could this organization be like in 10-15 years if everything were ideal?” or “What is our purpose?” could go a long way in establishing a vision of what you would like to work towards. This could also assist your manager and you to establish a cause that is worthwhile and it helps re-establish a mission for your team.

Another approach would help your boss get some training and help by enrolling for courses or meeting a coach or advisor. This will ensure that your manager gets the best possible training, learns how to work with difficult situations and develop key skills to help optimise work. Also, a senior HR would be able to help to give them some direction and provide them with a sense of purpose.

There are times that people cannot change their manager’s foresight and approach to work and hence there are several people that take to renewal activities. This could be meditation, yoga, assisting others, playing a sport, exercising at the gym or outdoors and some even spend time in prayer. This helps them keep a positive outlook on their work and maintains a balance between their personal and work life. This could at times be overwhelming and exhausting if you do not find an outlet to just let go. This could lead to consequences at work and with your family and work would slowly digress to being mundane and not fun nor exciting. So before you have to decide on the final option of leaving, you should think of every possible way to keep the creativity flowing, find more things which are of interest and something which will help you grow.

Dealing with a Negative Boss

There are several methods to create a workaround and deal with a negative boss. This will help you keep your spirit alive and bring about a positive change when there is a feeling of negativity in the business:

  • Brainstorm on Strategies: Your coworkers and you might have come across some improvements and changes to enhance your workspace. Whatever the scenario, a negative boss cannot stop forward thinking. Look at how you can find changes and ways to improve your workplace and look at how you can make it acceptable to your manager. If they agree, then you should look at re-creating successful strategies and look to propose for something new.
  • Stop excessive interaction: Ensure that you keep face time to a minimum and keep all encounters polite and civil. Spend a lot of time with people that are positive and have a can-do attitude so that your attitude does not turn negative.
  • Innovation is the key: Look to innovate especially when you find time outside of work. This will ensure that you engage in a creative manner. You can look at forward-thinking activities like volunteer work, part-time work, an internship or hobby to stay fresh and relevant to strengthen your innovation muscles.
  • Put suggestions on paper: Make sure that all your suggestions are on paper and not sent by email or explained in person. The longer the response takes, the more likely it is that a knee-jerk resistance is likely to change. This will allow your manager to weigh the idea based on its merit.
  • Revisit your idea: Look at how your boss can revise your idea and propose it as their own. This can be quite annoying when they turn down your idea and uses it as their own. But if you come to think of it, you have made progress and it is a win for you even if it involves accommodating an overinflated ego.
  • Develop a coalition for innovation: At times, you should work with others who are in power in your workplace to build a strong personal network that will enhance your ideas and bring about a positive change. Working with a coalition is sure to bring about some sort of innovation. They might have access to help your boss decide and force them to bring your unit in line to look at a new direction that you created.
  • Look out for the bottom line: You should look to jump ship if the boss is determined to run you up on the rocks. This could be the biggest problem especially when they resist change. Look for another job with a better manager and more momentum to see your idea through.

Once you know how to adapt to your work and your surroundings, you will be able to create a suitable workaround to ensure that you stay true to your calling. You can pose your opinion or strike a conversation with the Community and stay informed about jobs, news and how to build a positive relationship with your manager.

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  1. I am in a unique situation. I would like to know if even though I work for a church that does not pay into unemployment, I have only been here a year and my job previous did pay into unemployment. Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits if I were laid off? This is in the state of Nevada. If so, how long do I have before that is NOT the case? In other words, I know that benefits usually go back 18 months. Would it be the same in this case?

    1. Leslee,

      As much as I am aware, church employees do not qualify to receive UI benefits. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  2. The unemployment office in Nevada doesn’t answer the phone. They have a recording that says they only take new claims on Monday, and Tuesday, from 8am to 4pm. But if you call at 8am, they tell you that the “Que is already full for the day.” How can that be possible if they don’t start accepting calls until 8am? No wonder unemployment in the United States is DOWN! They don’t accept phone calls after they tell you online that you “have to call to confirm your information” and then they don’t take the calls.

  3. I have called as soon as they open and they just say please call on the next business day I DID and you still didn’t answer

  4. Could you please provide a reference for the following statement in your article – please see below. Thanks.
    “You may also be qualified for unemployment benefits if:
    …You entered Commission-Approved Training and the job is not considered suitable under Section 20 relating to your availability for work, active search for work or refusal to accept suitable work”.

  5. If I exhausted all my benefits last year 2019 and my new benefit year starts back up in Jan. 2020 can I reapply? I still should have money in other quarters from my previous job.

    1. Yvette,

      The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  6. Can i receive unemployment if my car broke down and i couldnt work cause i work outta my car and i couldnt afford to get it fixed so i ended up not working there anymore cause the car situation

    1. Willie,

      I can understand your situation. However, I am not sure if you can claim for voluntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

      1. Hello,

        I have been unemployed since this past July. My regular unemployment benefits are running out. Can I apply for Emergency Unemployment Benefits after this claim expires? What can I do?

        Thank you,D. ANDERSON

  7. I filed my first bi-weekly claim today but it only took my first week. Are there only certain weeks I can file 2 weeks worth of unemployment?

    1. How strict are they on the school program being less than 2 years for CTB training extension? I have an interview next week for a Training Extension. I started school this week, I am set to finish just a few months over the 2 year mark. Finishing in May 2022.

  8. What if it’s an employer that is threatening over it being personal home life and nothing to do with work or the work place??

    1. Kelly,

      You can be eligible to claim if you resign due to hostile working conditions. Please make sure to check with the Unemployment Office before making a decision.

        1. Paula,

          A copy should be available on the department’s website. You will be able to download after logging in.

  9. I finally start new job on Monday. My work hours are 6;30-6:30pm.
    How can I file my last two weeks if I’m working

    Can I. Call Tuesday? What number?

      1. Hello, I live in the state of Pennsylvania, for reference. I was told on 1/9/2020 I am being let go because of financial issues my employer and office is having. With that, my employer said I can work for the next two weeks to give me time to find another job and if circumstances change they will call me back to work. My question is, Where do I go to figure out my quarter dollar amount earnings for my highest 4 out of 5 quarters. I’ve been with this employer for 7 months, started June 2019. Before that I was unemployed for 5 months and before that I was employed for years up until Feb 2019.

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