Fast Company's "8 Tips for Dealing with Your Awful Boss" Video Makes a Bad Workplace Slightly Better

Employees of EnBW, an EDF subsidiary in Berlin, work at their desk 13 October 2003. AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

I'm extremely fortunate in the fact that, over the course of my career, all of my direct supervisors have been absolutely amazing (seriously, guys — I adore you all. You know who you are). But say you're among the many who haven't been as lucky: How do you deal with a bad boss? It's both tricky and frustrating, but don't worry — Fast Company has your back with their latest video, "8 Tips for Dealing with Your Awful Boss."

There are a lot of different kinds of bad bosses out there, so first, it's probably worth identifying which one (or which combination, as the case may be) you've got. That'll help you figure out specific strategies to use when coping with their general type. At the same, time, though, there's a core group of strategies that will help no matter what kind of terrible boss you have — which, incidentally, are the ones presented here. The big takeaway from all of them is about the importance of framing: Whatever your grievances, don't make them personal, either on your end or your boss's end. Keep the discussion focused on the work — it's both professional, and far more effective in the long run.

Check out my five favorites here, and scroll down to watch the full video. Got any to add?

1. Make sure it's really them and not you.

Even if it is them, there are probably still things you can adjust in yourself that might help mitigate the situation. We've all got ways we can improve, so you may as well work on yourself while you're at it.

2. Don't bitch about it to co-workers.

But by all means, bitch about it to your non-work friends, significant other, or what have you — venting can sometimes help you feel less "HULK SMASH!" about the whole thing. Just make sure whoever you confide in can actually keep your secrets first.

3. But, do find out if it's an isolated situation or an office-wide one.

The trick here is not to come at from the "Guys, our boss totally sucks —  is he or she driving you nuts, too?" angle. Instead, make it about the work.

4. Don't lose your cool.

It's not going to help the situation — and, in fact, will likely hurt it instead. Stay calm.

5. Keep the lines of communication clear.

Let's face it: Some people are just not good at communicating. Bad communicators are frustrating enough to deal with in normal circumstances, but they're even more rage-inducing when they're your boss. The good news, though, is that you can be proactive about fostering good communication. Setting up the meetings suggested here is a start; I would also add making sure you verbally sum up the contents of the meeting ("So, at this juncture, we've accomplished A, B, and C...") and confirm where you're going next ("...And next week I'll have updates for you about X, Y, and Z. Correct?") at the end of it, just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Watch the full video here:

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Images: Fast Company (5)

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