How to Handle a 'Difficult' Boss

Everyone has been there – at some point you will encounter a 'difficult' boss. Whether they shirk responsibility or are an outright bully, you will want to find ways to handle the situation.

Everyone encounters a 'difficult' boss at least once during their career. If you want to avoid developing a hatred of your job, you need to adopt strategies to handle them and help you cope with the situation. It's never pleasant working under someone who is difficult, but it is manageable.

Whether they're too demanding, too irritable or just an outright bully, difficult bosses can be a workplace nightmare. The first thing you need to do is focus on yourself. You have career goals, and no difficult boss should stand in the way of them, however many obstacles they seem to throw your path. Think of them as just one more trial you will overcome, and that makes you stronger in your career.

Secondly, always rise above. Bosses can nit-pick and try to pick arguments, but if you don't rise to them, then you're the better individual. Always remain calm and have a ready answer to any criticism. Getting into a fight will only make them worse and may damage your chances of promotion, it could even put your job at risk.

Finally, always save supporting evidence on your side, just in case things escalate. Keep a record of your work, keep negative emails they have sent you, record in a journal anything which has been said in front of other people. If they take a grudge too far and you end up at a disciplinary, having that back-up will help support your case.

Some bosses are just an irritant, some are downright aggressive. Wherever your difficult boss sits on that spectrum, remain calm at all times and don't give them any ammunition.


Focus on your own career goals
Rise above any arguments
Keep supporting evidence