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Challenging bosses make our workdays miserable. Worse yet, really challenging bosses become topics of conversation after work and are sometimes the reason we can’t fall asleep at night.  Some bosses are just too tough to deal with or to work for. But, in many cases, there truly is hope for smoother interactions and for more comfortable work times.  

The purpose of this article is to share some tips and tricks to improve your relationship with a challenging boss. Please try these tips and let me know how they work for you!

Clearly Tell Your Boss What You Need to Be Successful

A boss is not a mind reader. While you may hope that your boss will automatically know what you need from her in order to thrive at work, this is not always the case. When you need some space, say something like, “Boss, I am more productive when I can work without interruption. May I please share my progress on this assignment with you tomorrow afternoon instead of every few hours?” By telling your boss that you need her to let you work on a deliverable for the afternoon without any interruptions, you are sharing the steps that she needs to take to help you to meet deliverables and goals.

Effectively Manage Your Manager

Sometimes, bosses just don’t get it. They don’t know to offer feedback when you need it. If that’s the case, don’t stay stuck at your desk hoping that he’ll walk by with some guidance. Rather, train your boss to give you the guidance you need. Walk up to his desk and ask for help. Or, at the next meeting say, “Boss, can we arrange a time to go over this concept. I want to learn from the best.”

Give Off a Positive Vibe

When you don’t like someone, it’s likely that they know it. If we smile at the office, we will, often, get a smile back. But, if we grunt and growl, then we can’t be upset if our boss returns the favor. Smile and say “Good Morning” or make small talk in the elevator. Once your boss sees that you are a human with feelings, she may be more likely to treat you like one.

Want to learn more about handling difficult people in the workplace? Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. Read my book Working with Difficult People or visit www.amycooperhakim.com.

Copyright© 2017 Amy Cooper Hakim

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