Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Labour Law & Hr Consultant
Getsie Jesse
Manager Human Resource
Hr Generalist
Retail (customer Team Member)
Cite Contribution
Community Manager
Harsh Shukla
Ceo And Md Of 3 Uk Based Mnc's
Retired From Air India
+2 Others

Thread Started by #Nimaa

I work in managerial level in a reputed ITES firm. I have my boss who is always taunting me and is puttting me down. She has complete mood swings, and mis communicates most of the time, which has led to so may clashes.
I have already complained to my Super boss abot the same, but no action was taken. The whle 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 dont want to quit my job...
6th May 2013 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!
6th May 2013 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
7th May 2013 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!
7th May 2013 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.
7th May 2013 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
7th May 2013 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.
7th May 2013 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.
7th May 2013 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.
7th May 2013 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.
7th May 2013 From India, Salem
Hello friend, I was reading the above issue with Nimaa and the posts came regarding it suggesting some very good solutions for this. I am a customer team member in retail food . while reading Nimaa's problem I can easily to relate with my situation occurred with the store manager. She's newly appointed as a store manager and I think she lacks in employee-employer relation. however in-spite of thinking of complaining to senior management I thought it would be better to adapt myself according to the way she want. Now things going stable but somewhere it hurts while doing your favorite job.
7th May 2013 From United Kingdom, London
Hi Nimaa,

I understand you issues, they are in fact quite common.

You have received some very good comments and observations from members so far and there is lot for you to digest.

If ever there was a classic case of educating the boss; this is it (I am sure many more will follow !!!).

I once read an article by Kay Buckby of the Development Company; where she gave 10 tips for Managing the Boss:

You must first understand and accept that your relationship with your boss is the most important relationship you have at work.

Most people expect our boss to manage us, but if you think for a moment the pressures the boss is under you will realize that most successful people manage their boss ..... effectively.

1) Agree the boundaries

By this I mean agree the standards and outputs expected and avoid leaving things to chance. Agree reporting lines for example who do you report to when the boss is not around. Does the boss require daily or weekly reviews.

2) Manage your Boss's time

Remember that whilst your time is entirely devoted to your boss; do not expect your boss's time to be entirely devoted to you.

Does your boss maintain a diary? If not introduce one; if so then book time to meet with boss (say a week in advance). Book a short period of time. Prepare and summarize data and present options, suggestions and solutions to keep the meetings action driven, (no chit chat).

3) Avoid making Assumptions

Most bosses are busy working on their own priorities and often forget that one of their ares of effort are their own people.

Never think that they know more than you do, you were hired for your expertise, the boss was hired to manage a team of experts. Develop yourself, after all it is YOUR dream job !!

4) Be a Problem Solver

Don't moan or whinge about problems and never dump your problems on the boss. Develop your problem solving skills. Analyse the data you have toi gather facts; brainstorm the options (involve your peers) to eliminate and refine the options, then discuss the solution with the boss. Use positive words, for example: "Regarding the team away day, I've thought through the logistics", rather than "There is a major problem with the transport for the team away day"

5) Always deliver

Always deliver what you promise to deliver or rather under promise and over deliver. Avoid delivering bad news without forewarning. Avoid bad surprises.

6) Develop a relationship based on Trust

Careless errors an d poor quality of work will erode confidence and trust. Far too many people criticize their line managers, which results in loss of trust when they find out (and they will, eventually).

7) Provide constructive feedback

Develop constructive feedback skills; stick to facts, state it behaviorally and avoid being personal.

8) Accept Differences

Every individual has their own frame of reference; this includes values, beliefs, standards and views of the world. Accept these differences and work with them.

9) Increase your boundaries

Managers often assume that their staff will struggle if given a task outside their comfort zone. Enhance your knowledge and skills, then let the boss know. ASK for increased responsibilities.

10) Celebrate

Make time to celebrate events that go well. We often make time to analyse when events fail, which is negative psychology. Use positive psychology in all working relationships and remember your Boss needs a positive stoke too! Provide positive feedback to ensure you maintain the successful team.

Aristotle once said "We are what we repeatedly do".

Commit to managing your Boss and you will repeatedly maximize your potential.

I know i have not given you a direct answer to your query, but i hope that some of the tips given will go someway in helping you to a better workplace environment. It will take time, ther is no overnight solution, but it will be worth it.

Hope this helps,


7th May 2013 From United Kingdom, Barrow
Dear Nima,

I can completely empathise with you as i was also going through the same situation.but in my case situations became so worse that i had to escalate to my CEO to get a solution.As i loved my job,even i did not want to leave and go just because of one person.Now after my request,i am being moved to a different department.Let me give you my suggestions after the expereince that i have gained through all this.

First ,do not escalate to anyone unless you have solid proof with you.(People can change statements and turn the table against you in seconds)

Do not expect your super boss to help you unless and untill you have a good rapport with him/her.They will only support your manager if they have a good working relationship.You will only become the guinea pig in between them.

Documentary evidences become very crucial in this situation.Wait for such instances again as your manager is not going to change her behaviour over night.Try to collect some trail mails so that the entire conversation is intact.

Go to your company website or policies and check for platforms like Right to speak or grevence redressal cell if any and understand how you can approach them

If your other colleagues are also facing these issues,try to bring atleast 2-3 of them into confidence and ask them also to start collecting the evidence.

Be careful of that subordinate of yours.She should never come to know of anything.I have seen lot of such 'chamchas' and infact they are dangerous.So be pally with her and do not let go of anything.

See if you can talk to any senior person in your organization who will genuinely hear you out.It can be in any other department.May be you can get some suggestions on how best to tackle this in this situation.You may also get some other information from them like... whether anyone else has faced similar issues in past or any body has complained agaianst her earlier etc which can make your case stronger.

First wait for few more days and see if there is any change in her behaviour after you apply the practical tips given by the seniors here on improving comunication and documenting things robustly and tactically

See if there is an oppoortunity to move to a different role/assignment so that you need to report to her if such an option is available.In that case,dont blame anyone,Just tell them that you want to learn something new and move on silently

If there is no improvement,then be prepared to escalate it to the next level.Be really strong and believe that you are doing the right thing.Also tell yourself that you are not doing anything wrong and just taking a corrective measure as you do not have a congenial environment to work,which is very weel your right.All of you including your boss is working for the company and it is the company which has hired you and paying you salary and not her.

Also just be cautious of all your communications with her now as she can also come back with some other evidence against you if required.See that things are fool proof from your end.

All the very best to you.
8th May 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear Nimaa,

It’s a difficult situation. But with time, their acceptance towards you as colleague will grow automatically.

Firstly, you will have to accept them as colleagues. Don’t rush to be friends. Keep all communications professional.

Concentrate more on your work & try to deliver good results every time. Also keep a check on where you could be trapped, & keep clean communication records to support your positions in these matters.

(e.g.: Do not complain/fight about the decisions you strongly disagree, but are out of your authority; Keep constructively towards the decision, but do keep record of your suggestions against it. So, if it works out, you are a team player. If it doesn’t, nobody can badmouth you!) This shuts off the back-stabbing from subordinates. If you never fail, they never get to complain. Eventually, they would have to stop.

Your good performance would increase dependency on you, which would automatically reduce the clashes with superiors. Some people might not accept you right through, but at least the criticism will reduce.

This has to be continued, until you make your own unique/undeniable position in the organisation.

It will surely be a struggle to maintain good performance in such environment, but at least you will be facing known & accepted enimies:

1. Mis-communication: If you think there is mis-communication between you & your boss, try to improve on that front. When you work together for some time, you would be able to predict her thoughtlines & her moods. Try to adjust your responses accordingly. Then you only have to work on the proper & clear communication means.

2. Dependancy: Keep minimum dependancy on your subordinate. Keep strict review of her work & efficiency. Do not complain, but keep reporting these statistics in periodic reporting.

3. Reporting: Report what you are doing, without fear of receiving critics. If you report inefficiency of subordinate, also report your recovery plan & execution results along with. “All’s well, when end’s well.” Do not forget to take your share of credit for the well end, without giving opportunity for others to snatch it away / blame it with some minor issue.

4. Professional attitude: If you demonstrate that these things do not bother your performance, they will reduce. “Good living is best revange”. Nobody can beat that…. :-)

Best Regards,

9th May 2013
Yeah even i had a similar boss like yours but then suddenly one day he went missing and was never found ever after to anybody :) no one knows where the person went and whether he went absconding or missing or ran away even his family members did not knew.
Problem got solved.
9th May 2013 From India, Madras
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