Survive, thrive with a bad boss

Headline Goes Here

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Arrogant, demanding, and hyper-critical: management experts say they are some of the worst traits of a bad boss, and it only takes one to damage the office atmosphere.  But, you can come out on top.

Executive coach Janice Sabatine tells clients to think of unpleasant interactions with supervisors as opportunities to improve your business survival skills.

First, protect yourself by creating a file. Put your interactions with your boss in writing. Summarize and write down important conversations. Send written memos to confirm projects and deadlines.

It's also important to spend time building your network. Develop relationships with everyone from the assistants to top managers in other departments. You'll earn a reputation as a team player. Sabatine says you should think of your snarky supervisor as the spark that ignites your next career move.

"Just like you learn more from mistakes sometimes than from what you do well, you can really learn from a bad boss," she said.

Especially the behavior you don't want to repeat when it's your turn in charge.

Before you label your tough boss as bad, ask yourself if they are making you better at your job and perfecting your weakest skills. Also remember, management experts say it's unlikely a bad boss is going to change his or her behavior, so it's a good idea to plot your exit strategy.

Additional Information:

Who you work for can have a significant impact on your workplace experience, so dealing with a bad boss causes many employees distress. However, having a hard-to-handle manager or work superior is not uncommon, as can be seen in a 2011 survey by the Conference Board which found that only 50 percent of Americans are satisfied with their supervisor.

Furthermore, the level of dissatisfaction many workers feel at their jobs seems to be rising. There is a whole range of bad boss behaviors and in research published in 2007 by a Florida State University Professor, workers listed the silent treatment, breaking promises, and speaking badly about employees behind their back as some common ‘bad' supervisor behaviors. (Source:

How to Deal: Dealing with a horrible boss is something most people will experience at least once during their career, but how can employees make the best of their situation? Here are a few tips for surviving a bad boss:

  • Keep in mind that there may be outside factors causing your boss's bad attitude, so try to put their actions into perspective.
  • If bullying is the problem, stand up for yourself in a calm and rational manner. Explain your point of view without losing your temper.
  • Ask a lot of questions up front to avoid miscommunication.
  • Separate your personal ego from how you behave at work. In other words, don't take everything personally.
  • Document everything, especially if your supervisor is known to take credit for other people's work.

While these tips can help, employees should also remember that they can make their "bad boss" situation better or worse with their own behavior.  (Source:

Copyright 2013 by Ivanhoe Broadcast News and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.