Hi, I work at the managerial level in a reputed IT firm. I have my boss who is always taunting me and is putting me down. She has complete mood swings and miscommunicates most of the time, which has led to so many clashes.
I have already complained to my Super boss about the same, but no action was taken. The whole team is not happy with this, but scared that it will cause trouble if anybody complains. I love my job, my work, but unable to bear this torture from boss, please help.
What can I do? I don't want to quit my job...

From India, Madurai
Dear Nima,
Congrats you have made the best decision to stay back and learn. Here's one old discussion thread. It deals with one of the areas affecting you Mind Games
When a reporting leader acts Machiavelli , you have to observe and follow the pattern to adjust.You have already done, most of it. You know which situations evoke what response from her. All you would now do is to find survival skills and attitude. Eventually , when you can read the person better, her responses and emotions will affect you far less than now.
Wish you all the best!

From India, Mumbai
Dear Nimaa,

The analysis of the post shows that:

a) Your manager lacks managerial skills. She has not been trained properly on that.

b) There is no proper grievance handling machinery in your company.

c) When some junior complains against his/her manager the senior management personnel are supposed to investigate the matter. In your case the boss's boss is just sitting on your complaint. This shows apathy on his/her part and how he/she lacks leadership qualities.

d) IT/ITES is supposed to be little glamorous than other industries. That this incident should happen in ITES goes on show to that there is no difference between your and any other sectors. Ask some senior and they will tell how ITES personnel pooh-pooh persons from other industries.

e) Your post explains the reasons for employee attrition as well.

f) Your post shows how senior management personnel are disconnected from the ground-level staffs. This disconnection is caused because there is no proper upward communication. These very persons go abroad and do some hi-fi management courses. These very persons nominate themselves for the leadership courses conducted my MNC training companies. But when it comes to action or execution they remain as cool as cucumber.

g) In your post, you have not written anything about HR. Why you did not approach HR or why HR does not know that one manager is unfair to her staffs? If HR knows then why that person is keeping quite?

Now let me come to solution. Instead of fighting a lonely battle, I recommend you making a collective complaint either to HR or still some superior person like Director. While making complaint, make sure that you provide some material evidence.

One more solution is to make anonymous complaint to the MD of your company. However, make a complaint with sufficient evidence. Do some sting operation and capture the audio/video recording and send the file to MD. However, be cautious while doing all this because you have to exercise utmost discretion if you do this. Personally I would not like to recommend this option but in my knowledge it has worked very well at least in 2-3 cases.

For (Cite Contribution): - You have recommended putting up with vagaries of the manager and find out the pattern of the behaviour of the manager and then adjust according to the senior's requirement. While it will avoid the immediate conflict at workplace, nevertheless, your solution demands being passive or lies on the borderline of the passivity. How long one should be passive, that time limit you have not mentioned. There is nothing wrong to be assertive. Manager is also paid employee as much as the poster of this post is.


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Dinesh,
Thankyou for correcting me on what deemed incorrect to you. Fighting out in the open is what Nima had already tried. There have been no result to it. If the Senior Management haven't done anything beyond listening to the complaints, HR might offer an ear to listen, response remains yet to be seen.
I am not discounting the results from taking the situation head along. I am certain, it brings result to many.
Taking control may not always require someone to pick up a weapon. At times, the right attitude does far good than a scuttle.
I sincerely request members, to ignore my suggestions, if they are ineffective.
Have a great day!

From India, Mumbai
Dear Ms. Nimaa,

It's a trade fair situation! Since you LOVE to be in this JOB; I would suggest you to get on the right side of Ms. (Cite Contribution)'s hint at dealing this kind of Boss. The following also helps you to play a part --
  • keep it a habit of writing, document anything you find unprofessional, unethical or abusive just jot down the facts and not your reactions to the events. This would definitely help you in future for filing a complaint with even more appropriate records that can be referred to.
  • Get support from your colleagues, as you are not the only one sufferer; there might be people who are effected by this as well. Try not to speak bad about her as this certainly will lead to ordeal.
  • A complaint or a report to Human Resources will keep a track that either of results may be managed.
  • Since you love the company and your position but still you can't deal with such boss, you can find a guide for any supervision related to your work consistency.

Learn to resolve and take each step with experience. If you still can't find a solution to the issue find yourself a new job and until then you will have to face the bullying. Make sure the hounding doesn't effect your health.

From India, Visakhapatnam
Dear Nima,

After reading your post i would like to suggest you the following:-

1. Whenever your boss taunts you, ignore the same and acknowledge the work related area.

2. Its more important to respond to such situations rather then reacting to it.Responding means to take action in a positive manner in that work related area.

3. Stay calm whenever she taunts you. when she miscommunicates please focus on your deliverables related to work.Think about the boss as your client.

4. As mentioned by you that your management has not taken any action even after complaining.In such a situation you can only control your reaction to her behaviours. we cannot control the behaviours of our boss, so the way we react to their behaviour is the only thing in our hands. so stay calm and composed.

5. Please do not argue with her as you have mentioned that you had clashes with her. just speak about the work area and ignore her accusitons.Whenever she gets into an argument please explain her that we need to focus on getting things done together as a team, whereas arguments will only lead to waste of time.Please talk to her and make her understand that we all need to work as a team and arguments, taunts will only impact the productivity levels of team members.

By now you must have identified the way she behaves in various situations so you can proactively design a startegy which will help you to respond to her behaviour much better, much earlier such situations arise.

Hope this helps.


Vishal Dudhate

From India, Mumbai
Hi Nimaa,

First of all don’t panic and don’t get frustrated. Quite often in your career you will get to face such kind of people. You just need to be patient and have to learn to tackle such personalities. Not all fingers are identical, similarly every individual is different. Appreciate you for taking the initiative to learn and tackle the situation. You have mentioned about miscommunication, I guess your boss says first something and then changes and says that he/she did not say that at all. If this is the situation be happy you have the advantage over your boss. Most of the communication must be official like most of it should be asking you to do something or lead something. If your boss is communicating verbally and later changing his/her stand. Make a note of what your boss says then draft and email and inform your boss stating the same via email and add a line saying “kindly correct me if I have missed to capture any information”. Keep few statements handy similar to this and use it at the end of your email and send it. Now you will start finding that the communication problems are getting lesser and this will save you from may trouble as well. If anything is actually missed it’s the boss duty to clarify by replaying on the email.

Similarly you will find several ways to handle situations.

Always remember this- You are never a looser, until you think you’re a looser.

From India, Madras
Thank you all for your valuable suggestions. Will try my best to put these in place. And as some of them were questioning about the HR department.
We all three belong to the HR department, i carry a managerial role and my boss and super boss are from senior management HR... :)
Also, i have a major problem adding to all these mentioned above... my subordinate, a team member who reports to me is very close to her personally. She informs about every act of mine, every decision i take and also takes long breaks with my boss which i have informed several times though to be corrected. They tease my dressing style, my walking style and everything. which really de-motivates me.

From India, Madurai
I am with (Cite Contribution) and Anonymous.I don't think much will be achieved by complaing and all,given the environment she is working in.Afterall you cannot change the basic nature of that manager.So be it and try to find a way out.
From India, New Delhi

Your episode becomes more interesting by the coincidental fact that your moody immediate boss, your back-biting subordinate and you, all the three ladies, are working in the same HR department in responsible positions.So, it is a war among the roses! I think that's how the super boss ( I suppose he is a man and endeavors to be gentle too) became a silent spectator.Since your attachment to your present job is so great, you are not prepared for an open fight to get justice and at the same time the injustice being schematically meted out to you seems to be unbearable! As you are well aware, every tide has its ebb and every coin has its other side. After analysing your narratives in your different posts, I have certain questions to you:

Is it real or feigned?

If real, despite your sincerity and efficiency, why you alone are targeted by the moody boss?

Why the so-called closeness of your subordinate with the boss arouses suspicion in your mind that she is back- biting about your every move?

Do you really think that your style of walking and talking are so awkward as to make others tease you as you said?

If the mood swings and mis-communication of your boss are silently borne by other employees in the department out of their timidity, don't you have, as the manager of the team, the moral courage and the natural knack to raise the issue before the appropriate authority at the most opportune time?

Is not being assertive different from being offensive?

Have some deep introspection!

Nimaa, elephant is more powerful on the land whereas the crocodile is in the water; first find out who you are, next where you are and then decide wisely whether to fight or flight.

From India, Salem

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