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Nightmare Bosses (Difficult Leaders) and How to Survive the Reign of Terror! - Part 2

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

During our careers we would have had to report to different managers at different points in time. Some of the leaders would have been wonderful, but some of them may have been albeit a complete nightmare.

This is the second part in this series, and we look at some of the traits of these kinds of leaders and what to do as a subordinate to survive.

If you missed Part 1 you can find it here

No 4 - The Bully

This is the person who makes their subordinate's life a nightmare, working with this boss is both emotionally and physically draining. This boss will use everything in their arsenal to belittle, embarrass, harass, intimidate, and frustrate you.

This boss will make you feel less of a human being, it's better never to allow them to know anything about your personal life or challenges because they will use it to insult or ridicule you.

They will talk over you at meetings, take the credit for great work that you have done, but put all the blame on you for their mistakes. They will escalate, overreact, and never let you, or anybody else for that matter forget if you make the slightest error, rather, they will continuously bring it up at every opportunity making you the laughingstock.

What to Do

  • The first thing is that you must take charge of your emotions and mental well-being, realize that there is nothing wrong with you but that your boss is taking undue advantage.

  • Report to HR if you have a responsive and active HR department, but sometimes this may not work especially if the manager is very senior, management may not want to take disciplinary action against them.

  • Report to another manager and explain the situation, they may be able to talk to the bully manager on your behalf.

  • Confront the person - speak to them directly, politely but boldly and firmly, let them know exactly the way they have treated you and state that you do not appreciate being intimidated. They will be taken aback, may lash out at you, but they will realize that you have found your voice and that you are no longer going to allow them to push you around. Eg if the manager talks down at you or tries to shut you up in a meeting - be bold and speak up, insist on making your contribution, chances are that other people in the meeting will support you and insist that you be allowed to speak. This will help you find your voice and gain boldness; it will also shut your manager up a bit.

  • Finally, if the bully manager tries to ridicule you again in front of other staff, speak up, don't take it lying down, politely, respectfully but very firmly, let them know that you do not appreciate them ridiculing you, ask them to demonstrate professional decorum at all times. When you have said your bit walk away, don't wait for a response, and don't get into an argument.

Have you ever been bullied at work?

How did it make you feel?

What did you do about it?

How was the matter finally settled?

Please share your experience in the comments

No 5 - The Politician

The politician is interested in only one thing - climbing to the top of the ladder and they are determined to accomplish this at any cost. This includes climbing over everyone along their path. This type of boss appears to be very friendly and nice, they often have a lot of charisma, and are often admired by those below them and appreciated by top management. These people are high flyers and go getters but the problem is that they climb on the backs of others to accomplish their achievements.

This boss will make you do all the work while they take all the glory and the shine, but they won't hesitate to throw you under the bus at the slightest mistake. They participate in eye service and are men pleasers just to be in the good books of top management.

What to Do

This type of manager is very tricky to deal with, so be patient. Learn everything you can while working with them. Use your time wisely, gain as much experience as you can. This manager is usually an empty vessel and will be heavily reliant on your expertise and experience to get things done while they take the credit, which means if you are not there, nothing happens.

Be patient, there will always be an opportunity for you to shine, the manager will be sick, unavoidably absent or transferred - and you will have to step in, it will then be clear to all that you were the true asset and brain behind the success and not the manager and you will be duly rewarded for your efforts.

Have you worked with this type of manager before?

What did you do?

Share your story with us

Has this been helpful?

Please feel free to like and share and always remember -

inspire, influence, and impact your world.

Written by Lady Shayo Imologome

Business Growth Strategist, Management Consultant, and Keynote Speaker

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Image 1 - Freepik - created by jcomp

Image 2 - Freepik - created by freepik


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