Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How to Deal with Bad Bosses

For all of you out there with crappy bosses, here's a top 10 list of how to deal with them. Who knows when this stuff would/will come in handy.

Top 10 Tips for Dealing With Bad Bosses

  1. Protect yourself first by building relationships with co-workers and other managers. These relationships can be an important source of support at work—and it’s always helpful when a co-worker witnesses your boss’s bad behavior.

  1. Get it in writing when your boss makes promises—or threats. If there is an incident between you and your boss, write down your version with the date and time. Mail a copy to yourself in a sealed, postmarked envelope. This could be an important record of the incident later on.

  1. Talk to your boss about your concerns. Sometimes bosses don’t know when they are making bad decisions or treating employees unfairly. Plan ahead what you want to tell your boss. Practice keeping cool and speaking calmly.

  1. Identify the problem with your boss. Is it a short fuse? A problem with giving clear directions? Once you know exactly what your boss does that drives you crazy, it becomes easier to keep it from getting under your skin. And you can try alternate strategies to deal with your boss’s flaws. For example, if your boss gives vague directions, you might try repeating them back to him or her to make sure you understand them.

  1. Take back your life by establishing boundaries between work and home. Clearly define your time for work, family and friends. Remember that your boss pays you for eight hours a day—not 24!

  1. Manage your stress off the clock. Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to reduce stress and burn energy.

  1. Ask for outside help. If you think your rights are being violated, read the AFL-CIO “Know Your Rights” fact sheet. Contact advocacy groups in your community and look for legal clinics and other kinds of help. For example, Working America members are eligible for one half-hour of free legal consultation. Finally, if your boss ever becomes physically or verbally abusive, contact the police right away. Don’t be afraid to speak up andget help.

  1. Organize a union at your workplace in order to have a legal say over the issues that matter most to you, including wages, benefits and work environment. Union members, on average, make 28 percent more than people without a union and are much more likely to have employer-provided health care and pensions. Most unions also have a dignity and respect clause in their contracts. Click this link for more information on how to form a union at your workplace.

  1. Plan your exit strategy if the situation is unbearable and all else fails. Network with colleagues, update your résumé and watch for new job opportunities.

  1. Join Working America! More than 1 million members now fight for good jobs and a just economy. Visit www.workingamerica.org to join.

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