Difficult Boss - CiteHR
Neeraj4all
Lead - Ims
Jagdishkmunnar
Industrial Labour Laws In Kerala
Nashbramhall
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Loginmiraclelogistics
Asso.prof.(commerce & Management) Pg
NK SUNDARAM
Soft Skill Trainer / Hr Consultant - India
+1 Other

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Hi,

I have a difficult boss, whose attitude and behaviour towards me is stressing me out no end. I need to know if this is abnormal or is it something I am not doing right. Some examples would be -

1. Asking questions with the purpose of exposing my lack of knowledge about something. Sometimes that knowledge may not even be directly relevant to the task at hand - but when he figures out I do not know something, he goes on asking and then says something slightly insulting, like "You should know at least this."

2. I am a woman, and he discriminates against me with respect to certain projects - we had an argument over this where I tried to convince him, but he stayed put. It also could be coloured by the fact that he thinks I am not 'knowledgeable'.

3. He does not defend me in meetings with the super boss/ super super boss - if the smallest thing goes awry - he later uses the matter to belittle me and strengthen his poor opinion of me.

4. Unnecessary math quizzes - I am not very quick with mental calculations - and he's figured that out. Though this is in no way a key requirement of my job, he uses this simple trick to put me down in meetings, when I cant answer within seconds.

I have tried to politely confront him, but it has not affected his behaviour. On the other hand, his attitude towards my male colleague in the team is very friendly. I do not know whether this is his patronizing attitude towards women, or something I am doing wrong as an employee. But working with him is never a cooperative task. It always feels like I have to keep watching my back!

Please guide. Thanks
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You story echoes with one of my clients who faced similar discrimination. Here’s what I suggested her:

a) If you are going to figure out that why your boss is behaving in this manner then; forget it. There could be hundred reasons and no amount of research will help you in this regard. Accept the situation and make the most of it.

b) Give him a different treatment. If he says anything, don’t argue or try to prove your point. Just say… you are right. Absolutely!

c) Make the most of meetings and other public forums. Use humor to say difficult things like, “ Well, that’s a tough calculation for me and being my boss could you do me a favor to calculate that for me?”

d) Be assertive… in the real sense but use diplomacy to filter your assertiveness.

e) Write him an e-mail with instances where you felt he belittles you.

f) Have a skip level with your super boss and show him that mail. Seek guidance and don’t go with a complaint mode.

g) I am sure you are a person who minds her own business. Perfectly ok… but talk to your team members and see if there is anything you are missing…

h) Talk to a senior member of your company and tell him/her that you want it to keep confidential.

i) Talk to your HR manager.

j) If everything fails… look out for a job…

Make sure that your work is on time and you are meeting your targets.

I am sure you would like to work for a boss who is your partner in your success and not a jerk!
Dear,

Before we could suggest some or give our opinions it's necessary and appropriate that you should give some more information about you, your office and your boss.

1. What's your age and that of your boss, are you fresher, is he and you married ?

2. Do you report to him directly or thru' some other in between, where you are placed in the hierarchy

3. What's your nature of job and activities/nature of business of your firm

4. Had any tiff on some trivial issues earlier with him which might have spoiled the first opinion on you ?

5. Is there any disparity in qualification between you two

6. Are you close to some others in your firm whom he might dislike ?

7. Did you ignore him in public places, in the presence of others in the office

8. Have you discussed about this uneasiness with any of your colleagues and if so what was their comments

9. Is it such an irksome ill treatment meted out to you driving you to put down your papers ? Is there any chance of reconciliation with him, did you discuss with him one to one on this issue in the past and expressed your difficulties. If not why you didn't. ?

Probably you might get some clear ideas if you answer these and figure out where you are.
Dear Gf2014,
I have gone through your posting. You need not worry. Basically there are 4 charactors of people in this world. In most of the cases, there may be people with some combination of these 4 four characters. You just analyse the features of the basic charactors and once you get an idea about them, it is very easy to handle them... I also have experience with such people but once I studies the features of the 4 basic characters, I could be able to handle them in according to their nature...
They are:-
a. dynamic
b. intelligent
c. Systematic
d. Co-operative.
every being in this world is a combination of these 4 characters. You just analyse the nature of
your boss and what extend these nature is reflecting in his nature, I shall assist you how to handle
your boss.....
w. regards,
Jagdish.K
Kochi
9947662384
There is an old adage: You cant choose your boss as well as your parents. With parents, you have to learn to live with them until you feel that you can live on your own. With your boss, you may have choices.. There is no need to continue reporting to him and stay in the organisation. But there is no guarantee that the new boss in a new organisation is going to be a Saint or an Angel .. it is possible, you might land in fire, having shifted from the Frying Pan !
Hence consider the options provided above by our learned professional friends !
Best wishes
I too also facing some problem......with my boss... she is the executive chief..she used to scream anyone infront of anybody in very small things also.... many employee are not satisfied with this kind of behaviour. as im a hr manager there and due to my professional ethics I want to change on this. but how im not getting the way as she is executive chief.....please provide me some solutio n. people are not comfortable with her and her attitude
Dear Jyothisidgel,
I have gone through your posting. You need not worry. Basically there are 4 charactors of people in this world. In most of the cases, there may be people with some combination of these 4 four characters. You just analyse the features of the basic charactors and once you get an idea about them, it is very easy to handle them... I also have experience with such people but once I studies the features of the 4 basic characters, I could be able to handle them in according to their nature...
They are:-
a. dynamic
b. intelligent
c. Systematic
d. Co-operative.
every being in this world is a combination of these 4 characters. You just analyse the nature of
your boss and what extend these nature is reflecting in his nature, I shall assist you how to handle
your boss.....
w. regards,
Jagdish.K
Kochi
9947662384
attribution https://www.citehr.com/496842-diffic...#ixzz34dgR4800
Thanks for everybody's suggestions.

I am under 30, and he must be in his late 30s. Yes I directly report to him. He is otherwise also a socially inept person (does not have any friends in office), and I have seen him act in a similar (slightly rude, but nothing outrageous enough to attract action) manner with another woman, who he probably looks down upon too.

I think he's biased both by my gender and my missing out on a promotion in an earlier team. However, his behaviour is very different around openly aggressive colleagues, esp. female. He really appears scared of such personalities. Which makes me conclude he's just a bully - taking out his frustration on easy targets.

I did not directly talk to him about his attitude towards me and how that makes me feel, because I imagined I could impress him with my work ethic. Now, I am not so concerned about him, because I am already looking out, but I need to know if this is how many bosses are, so I can learn to handle such situations better in the future, without getting overwhelmed. Thanks.
Hi,
Good that you have started looking out.
As far as my experience is concerned, bosses in general are not that way. Yes, there may have some characteristics which may be a little difficult to handle but we can't form a perception that bosses are that way. All individuals are different and so are bosses.
I have had some real bosses who made me feel appreciated, welcomed and guided me well towards my career. I owe it to them for the valuable skills and wisdom they imparted.
I hope you get some nice supervisors in future who would be real role models. All the Best!
Dear,
I am in no match with the seniors here. But what I took it from your post is different to others views.
Have you first really checked within you? Are you doing perfectly and aligned with the goals of organization or showing to Boss that you are superior?
First thing to remember is that the boss is responsible and answerable for completing the targets or departmental goals. He shall always look upon positively who are aligned and will create the positive aura of his team. Being a female doesn't matter. Have you discussed the agenda of meeting with boss and what you are going to represent well before the meeting or you just put up the presentation with boss unknown to what is being shown?
Whatever points you have mentioned against boss - I dont find anything abnormal in that.
Always look on both sides of coin.
And lastly - if you are so confident - why not change the job?
This is purely my view, others may differ.
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