If you have a nightmare of a boss, oftentimes it will affect your life beyond office hours.
Merideth Ferguson, co-author of a study conducted by Baylor University, calls this the “spillover effect,” meaning your work life also affects your marriage and other intimate relationships.
“Most people quit supervisors; they don’t quit jobs,” said Ferguson, assistant professor of management at Utah State University, in the study.
It’s important to identify these signs before you get too involved, especially if you spot them during the job interview. This way you can decide if it’s something you actually want to deal with.
Based on the book “Bad Bosses, Crazy Coworkers & Other Office Idiots” by Vicky Oliver, we’ve compiled the top 10 signs your boss will eventually crush all happiness you’re clinging to.
1. Your boss is never, ever wrong.
Learning to admit that you’re wrong is one of the best things you can do for your colleagues. If your boss refuses to admit that they’re wrong, this means they’re not willing to go out of their comfort zone for you.
2. Your boss expects you to be just like them.
Most people like others who are similar to them. But good bosses know that different types of personalities can improve their team. If your boss is constantly trying to cast their image onto everything you do, try following one or two of their suggestions and thank them for the rest. Stay true to your colours, but also show that you value your boss’ suggestions.
3. They have a pesky habit of calling you on your day off.
You put in your hours and get permission for a long weekend off, but your boss doesn’t hesitate to call you during your off hours. To deal with this kind of boss, Oliver says you need to set your boundaries early.
4. Your boss is a micro-manager.
Is your boss so pushy and overbearing that you find yourself unable to accomplish anything efficiently? This may be a perpetual problem, so get ready for it early.
If they want a play-by-play of every meeting, email, and call, then take detailed notes of every business interaction and send them to your boss, suggests Oliver. Your boss will think that they’re on top of things and will leave you alone.
5. Your boss constantly changes their mind.
Does this sound familiar? In the morning, they tell you one thing. After lunch, it’s a different story.
“Pick the [suggestion] that benefits you most and pursue that direction,” Oliver advises. “Kick the habit of being dependent on him in the first place. Never ask for permission. Instead, simply inform him of your intentions. If he has a problem with any of your decisions, he’ll let you know.”
6. Their feedback isn’t relevant.
Do you feel like you’ve gained nothing after receiving feedback from your boss? Is it so vague that it’s not helpful? Your boss may either be unsure of what to tell you, meaning they’re not equipped for the job, or they don’t want to tell you anything useful, says Oliver.
You boss could be withholding information in order to have some kind of advantage. This person is not a team player.
7. Your boss has favourites.
This will cloud their ability to recognise your skills and the value you add to the company. They also fail to see that they’re treating you unfairly.
8. Your boss hogs the limelight.
Does your boss constantly use the word “I” when associating with success? Do they fail to invite you to meetings to present your own work?
They may be intentionally keeping you out of the limelight so that they can stay in it, warns Oliver.
9. They’re quick to blame you for mistakes, but rarely express gratitude when you succeed.
Does your boss put you down in front of others? If you let it go once, it’ll happen over and over again. Good bosses know they should have this conversation with their employees in private.
Oliver suggests apologizing to your boss behind closed doors.
“While it may sound counterintuitive to apologise to someone for something that clearly wasn’t your fault, amazing things happens when you can bring yourself to do so,” she writes. “An intimate bond is forged. All you have to say is something akin to, ‘I blame myself for your outburst earlier today. Clearly, I’ve been relying on you too much. If you have any issues with me, I’d appreciate hearing about them in the privacy of my office.’ “
10. It’s getting harder for you to wake up in the morning.
If you have a knot in your gut every time you have to face your boss, or if it’s taking you twice as long to drag yourself out of bed every morning, take notice. You may just have a terrible boss.
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