5 ways to deal with a horrible manager

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Aug 10

Horrible managers do not necessarily mean that that you should quit your job. You can actually propel all your negative energy to perform even better.  No matter how suffocating it may get in the office, it is better that you try to manage things first before planning an exit strategy.  Here are some ways you can deal with your bad boss.

Remain Calm

You have invested so much of your time and hard work to let it all just go to waste. Remember you need a job to survive and being unemployed is not the solution to your problems. Try to remain calm and have control over yourself in difficult situations. Evaluate yourself and highlight your strengths and weaknesses. Is there any room for improvement? Is your boss really at fault? You can have control over the situation. Do not whine or invoke a victim attitude. Be strong and try to push yourself to perform better and better. If your performance exceeds your boss’s expectations, then they are sure to acknowledge you more and treat you better.


You do not want a communication gap to build up between you and your boss. Regularly let your boss know what is going on, email, call or casually keep updating them about work. However, do not overdo it. You do not want to bother your boss with every tiny detail. If there is any kind of misunderstanding that is building up between the two of you, then rectify the situation immediately. You do not want to waste time contemplating as your boss may start holding a grudge against you.

Do Not Become the Victim

Do not victimize yourself and let yourself be trampled by your boss. If you want to say no then say no.  Confront your boss strategically, do not let your let your fear or anger overpower your voice of reason. Deal with things practically and make your boss see your side of the story. Document your concerns when communicating with your boss. This will help you gain your boss’s respect and will help you maintain your integrity.

Seek Advice from Your Colleagues

Your colleagues may probably be facing the same problems as you, how are they dealing with it? How does the boss treat them? How do they handle a bad situation? Adopt a friendly relationship with your co-workers so that they can vouch for you even when you are not around. Try talking to your boss’s boss. Are they approachable? Try discussing your issues with them but look for signs before completely spilling the beans. You need to handle things very tactfully as complaining to your manager may just make things even worse.

Contact HR

Finally, contacting HR should be your last resort when you have lost hope on things getting better. If they are compliance driven then they will most likely turn out to be more emphatic towards your boss and try to reason with him. However if they are employee advocates then they might just take up the matter more seriously. You are most likely to receive some helpful counseling from them. Do your research before contacting HR. If there is a way you and your employees can file a complaint anonymously then that would be the best option. Try to gather your co-workers together so that you have enough support.

In the end, you get to choose how to react to your boss’s behavior. No matter what you do, do not let your boss get to you. You worked too hard to get this job so the decision rests on you.

Monique Craig works at Oneflare and is interested in rapidly advancing technology and the way it is changing the world of digital media. She is also a great travel and animal lover.


About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.