How To Manage A Boss Who Is A Pain In The Rear

Unless you are among the rarest of the rare there are times when you think your boss is a jerk, a real pain in the rear. And he may very well be.

But hold up a minute. Take a deep breath and come to grip with the fact that you’ll always have a boss. Furthermore, boss problems are a constant. Another certainty is that relationships you have with your bosses along your career path will determine you success.

Before you throw a fit consider the reasons for his unacceptable behavior. Understand, please, that I am not saying these reasons justify a bad boss, but they do go a long way toward explaining what’s going on. When you understand what’s with the boss, you’ll be better able to cope and to manage the relationship with him and boost your career.

Consider these scenarios:

  1. Your boss doesn’t know how to be the boss.

  2. It may not be his fault. The workforce is filled with people occupying the position of boss who have had little or no training for the role. Such bosses have hung on long enough to move up the career ladder by virtue of seniority.

  3. You boss is dumb as a post.

  4. May be is, or it could be he simply has a different way to get things done.

  5. He’s rude, abrupt and moody at times. You never know what to expect.

  6. nothing excuses bad behavior, but the truth is you must deal with it. Consider the possibility that your boss is reporting to someone who is riding him unmercifully to improve results. Or maybe your boss is going through a rough patch in his personal life.

  7. Your boss is afraid to make a decision.

  8. He may be scared out of his wits trying to fill a position for which he is not qualified. It could be that he is worried about holding on to his position.

  9. He always insists that you do it his way.

  10. Consider the probability that he knows more about the situation and the assignment at hand than you do. Maybe you haven’t proven that your way is better.

  11. He won’t share information.

  12. Maybe he is bound by his boss to keep things close to the vest. It may be that he doesn’t have the information to share. Or it could be that you haven’t shown you can handle information properly.

  13. He never pays any attention to what you do and never gives you any feedback.

  14. When your boss ignores you, he may be paying you a compliment in his own way. That is, he could be “ignoring” you because he feels confident that you will carry out your responsibilities without his looking over your shoulder.

  15. . He takes all of the credit. He is jealous when he is not in the spotlight.

  16. These are sure signs of an inferiority complex. His ego needs feeding. Does he see you and others as competition for his authority? Are you being greedy for attention?

The basic strategy for building positive relationships with your boss is simple: understand the reasons for his conduct; support him and make him look good; when he doesn’t what to do; prove that he can trust you and that you are team player.

Perhaps you can help your boss earn a promotion and you will be moved up to take his place.

About the Author: To get more common sense advice on how to protect and advance your career during tough times, sign up at for a free subscription to Ramon Greenwood’s widely read e-newsletter and participate in his blog. He coaches from a successful career as Senior VP at American Express, author of career-related books, and a senior executive/consultant in Fortune 500 companies.

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