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I was there for a few hours and I was exhausted…but I did it. Have you ever had a jerk for a boss? If you have, maybe your experience has left a bad taste in your mouth or a negative view about work and bosses in general? Sure our dislike of a boss could stem from a negative view of authority in general, but I think it goes well beyond that.

So what do you do if you have a jerk boss? Believe me when I say we still have much to learn about being the boss. But here a some observations that I hope will help you. Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next? Your life not where you want it to be?


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Life coaching can help. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Menu Skip to content. The truth is, he was kind of a jerk. They micromanage people They show favouritism They are about themselves. I love roller coasters but not in the workplace.

1. Sadly, having a bad boss is common

What Do I do? Rant to your bosses boss. This would likely just escalate whatever problem you already have. Complain to your boss. Take your issues to social media. This is just a bad idea…and could get you fired. Talk about your issues with co-workers. Get lazy, be less productive and cut corners on your own work. Consider your part.

This is hard but ask yourself…is there anything that you might be doing to contribute to your current situation? What changes can you make? Communicate with your boss.

This is different from complaining. If you have concerns, offer constructive, specific feedback. Even tough bosses can accept feedback, especially if it includes some possible solutions. Get perspective. You work for other reasons too.

164: How to Handle a Boss Who’s a Jerk, with Tom Henschel

Who do you work for? Your family? Your kids? For God? Are you in your current role for a specific reason or season? Why do you think that is? That sounded like terrible advice. Those who were hostile to their supervisors reported less psychological distress and were happier with their careers. More than anything, his work is a reminder that bad bosses can inflict real psychological harm on employees and economic costs on organizations.

You are economically dependent on your boss. He or she could fire you. There are lots of things that could go badly for you.

10 reasons why your boss is a jerk - Workopolis Blog

So going way back, we had always assumed that if we were to look at upward hostility as a response to downward hostility, that we would find not much relationship. But we found the opposite, that in fact one of the best, most reliable consequences of downward hostility is upward hostility of various sorts, passive-aggressive kinds of responses and also active-aggressive kinds of responses, actually yelling back at the boss. We knew from other studies that if your boss is hostile toward you, you are going to be less satisfied with your job, less committed to the work.

You are more likely to experience psychological distress. We know that performance suffers; we know that people are less helpful when their boss is hostile toward them. I have found no upside whatsoever to a boss being hostile, even though there is a lay belief out there that if you kind of kick people a little bit, maybe you can get them motivated.

We never seem to find evidence of that. So if in fact people are getting something out of being hostile toward their boss, maybe it would be reflected in some of these outcomes that we know to be negatively affected by exposure to downward hostility. We actually set up two different lines of reasoning that lead to two very different predictions.


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  • One is that, if your boss is hostile toward you, and you respond with hostility, that will just make things worse. By the way, that is the hypothesis I thought for sure was going to be supported.

    Step Two: Dare to confront

    Now, we had never studied the idea that a person would report that they feel like they are a victim when their boss is hostile, but it seemed to make some sense. The other thing we looked was subjective career outcomes. Because we were a little bit surprised by what happened in Study 1, it occurred to us that maybe being hostile toward a hostile boss would not play out in a positive way when we look at other kinds of outcomes like how your career is affected. You may be satisfied in the moment, but maybe in the long run it hurts you.

    So we also included measures of subjective career success in the second study.