My Awful Boss Is Always Undermining Me



Estimated reading time: 8 mins

It is one thing to have a bad boss and a totally another to have a boss that hates you. While a bad boss can mean that there is more responsibility on you to manage everything, a boss that hates you is determined to find any reason to cause trouble for you to the point that you feel like quitting. It is this intention to harm your career that can be very dangerous for you. However, it can also be possible that your boss is just a person who gets a kick out of undermining his/her staff. In this blog post, I will talk about all the signs of an awful boss who is always undermining you and what are the things that you can do to counter this behavior.

So what makes a boss awful? Here are some of the most common signs that you are stuck with a manager who is detrimental to your career:

All the above signs should lead you to realizing that your boss is not particularly fond of you. Finding yourself in such a situation can put you off and worry you. However, not all hope is lost. Below are some of the things that you can do to counter such negativity from your boss:

  1. Have Control Of Yourself. The best way to minimize the effects of a bad boss undermining you is by working on yourself. Look at your own personal strengths and weaknesses and see all the areas that you have to improve. Make sure that you are not actually giving your boss any reasons to undermine you. It is possible that there are some issues with you that you need to work on. If that is not the case, then try to find healthy ways to get all this worry off your shoulders. Do relaxing activities and exercises. Take timeouts and talk to other people at work about good, productive things. Be a positive influence on others around you to minimize others having a similar opinion about you. Give all the respect to your boss and try to do teach task to the best of your capabilities. How will this help? Doing your job above reproach will lessen the impact of a bad boss on your performance at work, making you feel good and noticed positively by others.
  2. Have Clear Priorities. Instead of locking yourself up, you should try to have a meeting with your boss on clarifying his/her expectations. Take notes of the expectations and send out an email so that you both are on the same page and there is no defense on your boss’s side if you achieve and overachieve the tasks. Create a clear plan along with goals and action steps that you will need to take. This will minimize any misunderstandings about you. Almost all bosses appreciate such an initiative as it shows that you value them and are willing to learn.
  3. Communicate With Your Boss Regularly. All bosses hate surprises. It is important to let your boss know all the tasks that you are working on and all deliverables that you have aligned. Send out emails, casual updates as well as small meetings. Doing so will actually help you take your boss off your back as you will keep him/her occupied with updates from your end to minimize his/her from taking out more time to criticize you. Just make sure that you do not overdo this, selecting the right time and right space in between so that your boss is not annoyed by these updates. Avoiding your boss or retreating from them will only add to your troubles.
  4. Do Strategic Confrontation. It is not wise to fight your bad boss over everything as you will usually lose and your arguments will become ineffective. Pick your fights when you have a strong reason and confront them positively, possibly with supporting data to help you prove your point of view. Document your argument whenever discussing your concerns. This will help you maintain your integrity and keep a record of the incident.
  5. Consult With Others. This is a bit tricky; while I do not encourage you in getting in any kind of politics at work, it is important to have discreet discussions with your fellow colleagues, especially the ones close to you. Just casually ask them what experience they have working with your boss. Try to talk to them about the last thing that your boss complained about you and ask them for their advice and tips on how you can improve. If your boss appreciates some colleagues, talk to them and see what you can improve in yourself. It might be good to have a serious consultation with your boss’s boss, provided they are approachable. Just keep in mind that going over your manager’s head can sometimes backfire. Do this carefully and thoughtfully.
  6. Get In Touch With Your HR. If nothing else works, you will have to contact your Human Resource team. It also depends on whether your HR team is compliance driven or employee advocates. Being compliance driven will mean that they will probably take your boss’s side and that can end up making your boss hate you even more. However, more and more HR departments these days are genuinely keeping a neutral standpoint, truly helping their employees. It might be possible for you to discuss your options with them and see if you can change your department within the organization to avoid the onslaught of your undermining boss.

I hope these tips will help you find some peace with your boss. Do you have any other tips? Let us know in the comments section. Also, do check our posts on How to Deal With an Indiscreet Boss and 5 things your boss doesn’t want to hear you say.

This post is part 15 of 16 in the series You and Your Boss
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