Skip links

5 Steps to Managing Bad Bosses

Recently, I chose to look up comments about bad bosses and managers on Google, and one comment in particular struck a chord with me; it says, “I am thankful for all those challenging people in my life, they have made it crystal clear to me who I do not want to be.”

Over 70% of people (Goodhire, 2021), have left their employment at some point in their career journey just to get away from their managers. And, this goes to show the damaging effect of having a bad boss in the workplace.

There are several types of bad bosses:

  • We have Taskmasters who are always delighted to overwork employees with no consideration for work-life balance.
  • Micromanagers who excessively keep a close eye on their subordinates’ work.
  • Those with superiority complex that never let you forget you are just a subordinate.
  • Autocratic Decision-makers who decides alone and listens to no one.
  • Managers who are not independent in thinking and behave like Puppets

Regardless of the type of awful management you are working under, it is generally not a pleasant situation. Here are 5 approaches to dealing with Bad Bosses:

  1. Be sure you have a ‘bad manager’

Have you ever believed that your boss no matter where you worked, lacked competence? Do your colleagues believe the manager is “okay”?  Do you frequently have disagreements with your colleagues? Do you often miss deadlines? Any chance your boss slighted you months ago and you’re still holding on to it?

If the above issues are typical of you as an employee, you may not necessarily have a bad manager, the real issue may be your bad work ethic. Change your work ethic and watch how good your manager becomes to you.

Moreover, keep in mind that managers are also humans. They may occasionally err in the course of duty due to pressure, targets, deadlines, etc., but it’s essential to extend them some margin for error.

  1. Be Professional

In a situation where you really have a bad boss, avoid letting their bad attitude affect your work.  Don’t use their misbehavior as a justification for your own as two wrongs never make a right.

Employees frequently begin to feel entitled to slacking off, losing interest in their work, take unnecessary leaves/vacations, or cease performing optimally. Don’t do it! You will merely fall behind on your work and give your supervisor more to complain about.

You can vent all you want to your partner, parents, or friends, but try to remain positive and engaged at work. Delivering excellent results at work in spite of having a bad manager is a sign of professionalism and would speak for you sometime in the future.


  1. Stay one step ahead

This works particularly well when dealing with micromanagers. The important thing is to envision your manager’s expected assignments and complete them beforehand. Make sure you finish work before the deadlines given to you. Keep a cheerful attitude and try not to get annoyed by the constant reminders they give.

Some micromanagers are most likely dealing with an issue of trust, as such, a track record of meeting deadlines with quality delivery will reduce their excessive monitoring.

  1. Identify Triggers

This is key in handling bosses with anger management issues. Identify what triggers the person’s meltdowns and take deliberate steps to avoid such.

For example, if your Admin manager flips when you arrive a second after 8am, plan to get to work earlier every day.

  1. Be Proactive: Avoid Future Bad Bosses

The best approach to deal with a lousy boss is, of course, to avoid having one in the first place. Therefore, anytime you are considering switching to a new position within the same company or joining a different company, take the time to learn about the culture, the leadership, and the kind of management methods that are accepted and encouraged.

When making a move, research is required to prevent jumping from a frying pan into a fire. Sometimes, in our haste to leave a toxic workplace, we miss the warning indications that the new position will only make things worse. To learn as much as you can about the new business, speak to one or more employees who previously worked or are still working there.

Leave a comment