Careers

Career advice: 3 simple (but brilliant) ways to deal with a bad boss or manager

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Megan Murray
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If your manager doesn’t believe in you, it can affect your performance at work and lower your self-esteem. To protect your self worth and your development try these three psychological exercises.  

It’s unlikely that you’ll go through life and never experience a bad boss. They come in many forms: those that undermine and diminish achievements, those that block progression or even those managers that just seem to enjoy being a bully.

As we say, it’s not uncommon. Research has shown that 75% of people in the American workforce have quit a job because of a difficult supervisor rather than the position itself. This, particularly when coupled with a proven tendency to downplay our successes at work, can make it all too easy for women to feel stunted in a less than encouraging work environment.

The problem is that when a manager pushes us we tend to rise to the challenge, so if you have a boss who overlooks you it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But instead of letting a boss who doesn’t believe in you tarnish your self-worth or impact your development, psychotherapist and leadership coach Sarah Greenberg says there are three ways you can train your mind to push forward and continue shining like the star you are.

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First of all, really assess the situation to understand what’s happening and why you feel the way you do. You can do this by asking yourself questions to delve deeper into how you’re feeling and explore how you can change the way you’re reacting. For example, ask yourself what you are feeling, then why you are feeling like this and what your part is in the situation. Then think about how you can shift the situation positively. After this, look to your manager and ask yourself what story you are projecting onto this person, if you’re sure it’s true and what is another possible explanation.

Next you need to reconnect to who you are and refuse to let other people’s actions define you. Write down what your greatest strengths are, your values and what you see your purpose as. These are the things that are shakeable, that no one can take away from you. Continue to centre your actions back to these things.

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Finally do what you can to look for the positive in the negative. It sounds obvious, but maintaining a positive mindset in the face of adversity will really help you to continue on your own path of progression. Think about both the negative and positive actions of your boss and how these behaviours effect you and how you can become stronger from them.

If you’re really struggling in your current role and feel that moving on would be best for you, check out our ultimate guide to getting a new job which covers everything from looking for a new position to wowing in an interview. 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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