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How to deal with an unreasonable manager

Asmita Kundu
3rd Jun 2016
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Wouldn’t it be amazing if all managers were easy to deal with? If there were no issues altogether? But, that doesn’t happen too often. Some managers/supervisors/bosses can be very demanding and can put excessive pressure on the employees.

A difficult and unreasonable manager might ask you to work beyond the schedule or the time the work demands. Some telltale signs of a bad manager include setting unreasonable deadlines, not prioritising work well, not recognising your work or the effort put in by you and not recommending your name for any incentives despite your best efforts. Worst still, he/she is unapproachable, so you are left with no choice but to complete the task within the deadline set by your manager. If your manager fits all of these descriptions, dealing with him/her can prove to be your worst nightmare!

Unreasonable-boss

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Here are a few things you can do to deal with it.

Be proactive, not reactive

Don’t constantly wait for your manager to give you instructions, it won’t work to your advantage. Grab the reins for a change and actively manage the situation. Approach the matter gently. Set a reasonable schedule to execute your work. Keep the discussions with your boss sharp and efficient.

Set priorities and expectations right

When your boss gives you an assignment, see where it sits on the priority list. Decide an estimated time to complete it. If you fear it may not be completed within the deadline set by your boss, reason it out with him/her before you agree to it.

Be professional, not emotional

This is a crucial factor to keep in mind. Always maintain a professional demeanour while talking to your controlling boss. Do not let your emotions take over your work. Don’t get into a fight with anybody. Be straight-forward and deal with everything professionally.

Keep calm and be confident

The best way to deal with an unreasonable person is to remain composed. Do not take a decision while you are angry or upset with someone. Take a deep breath when you feel the urge to react.

Find solutions

To avoid the escalation of a problem, one has to be prepared for every setback. Remember, finding an appropriate solution is always better than being angry and expressing it.

Be a leader, not a follower

Be a keen listener. Especially, when ideas and directions get tossed around during important meetings. Don’t be a mute follower of directions. Ask questions, clarify your doubts and take the lead without hesitation.

Try to use positive reinforcement

Remember, everyone likes to be appreciated. Praise your boss when it calls for - be it for the completion of an excellent project or any other achievement.

Maintain a rapport with your manager

If you have a good rapport with your manager, a lot of problems can be solved. An effective communicator is always adept at separating the person from the issue. Learn the art of being soft to the person, but firm on the issue.

Be persistent

Being persistent will help you take control of many situations. Discuss the matter with your co-workers (if they are trustworthy) and take charge of tough situations. If your boss’ bad behaviour becomes unbearable, plan an action against it by following the right track. Don’t let your boss get away with bad behaviour.

If it is required, file a complaint

If your boss becomes abusive or the situation becomes too difficult to handle, it calls for some stern action. You could file a formal complaint with the HR or your company’s grievance committee. But be prepared for any outcome as complaining to the HR involves taking the issue to other board members.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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