It’s no secret a difficult relationship with your superior can significantly impact your job performance because- well, you’re human. Most of us have been (or are currently) there in our professional careers. As a Millennial, quickly climbing up the corporate ladder, it’s not uncommon that we’ll find our competence being questioned. The emotional toll on top of added work-stress can make spending your 9-5 in the office a dreaded experience. The best way to deal with it is to keep in mind that although your Boss may be unfair, they do hold decision-making power that can make it even more difficult for you if you rock the boat; so ultimately, you have to play it safe and smart.
1. Keep it Professional.
Keeping it professional is the key to keeping your sanity and ultimately the way out of a tiring power-struggle with your Boss. Even if you work in an informal environment with people you like doesn’t mean that you should lower your standards of professionalism or get too loose-lipped around the office, because we all know that our words have a way of making it back to us. Showing that your professionalism is uncompromising, your Boss will be forced to address you appropriately and leave little room to do much else. Plus it forces ourselves out of being petty and throwing shade.
2. Don’t get emotional.
At the end of the day, business decisions are made based on business needs- not feelings. Therefore, getting too emotionally invested in your work is a sure way to be on the fast road to burnout. If you find yourself dealing with a difficult Boss, the last thing you want to do is take it personal and start to feel bullied. Look at the situation objectively and ask yourself what you can do to make the situation better rather than asking yourself why life is so unfair. Make clear-headed rational decisions, which in turn will impact your reliability. Most importantly, when you go home, leave work at work and enter your home with a clear conscious and a bottle of wine never hurts. Simply put- there’s no crying in the office.
3. Document, document, document.
When it comes down to it, verbal interactions are recalled as “he-said, she-said” cases that only become a nuisance when escalated. Just as any judge would ask, “where’s the proof?” Without documented proof it’s hard to prove your perspective as reality and not you over-analyzing or exaggerating the extent of the situation. It’s best to request things asked of you in email form and keep those somewhere safe to refer to if anything comes up later. It has timestamps and will prove the challenges you typically face in interacting with your Boss. Do what you’re asked, but make it a point to be strategic about making note of these things.
In all, the best thing you can do while dealing with a difficult Boss is keeping it classy and letting your work speak for you. Don’t let an unfortunate situation ruin your career or cause you to act out of character. Chances are the situation will work itself out as bad behavior rarely goes unnoticed. Stick it out and keep a clear vision of your ultimate goals. Cheers to that!