How to Deal with a Negative Supervisor?
Updated : November 14th, 2017
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.
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.