How to deal with a bad boss: strategies to get ahead without the stress

In your life as an employee, you are likely to come across all kinds of bosses. While some are encouraging, others might give you a tough time.

Like all problems in life, a bad boss can be managed too. Your mind and career can be saved if you deal with the situation with this simple five-point approach.


Have a long-term vision

The moment you realize your boss is not-so-inspiring, sit down and get clarity on your long-term vision. This is the first step. What will drive you every day to work with enthusiasm and be unaffected by your boss’ behavior? The answer can vary for everyone – maybe it’s your dream job or it will add value to your career or it’s your dream company.

This clarity will help you a great deal. Quitting would mean giving up on your vision - which you don’t want to do.


Accept the situation

The second step is acceptance. After understanding the reasons to continue working with a bad boss, your mind will naturally start accepting the situation at work. If you have the right reasons to stay in the organization, then your acceptance can save your mind from getting discouraged at work.


Be compassionate

It’s likely your boss is a nice person, who must have gone through hard times and endured some tough people.

So this is the third step. Strike a conversation with your boss and get to know him/her as a person. Try to put yourself in his/her shoes. Slowly and gradually, you will able to empathize with your boss and feel compassion for him. You might not become best friends, however you could see him/her in a new light.


Become more skillful

The fourth step is to see this as an opportunity to become more skillful. In a company when there are tough people to handle, then you can either get frustrated or take it as a challenge and explore the right approach. Your boss is giving you abundant opportunities to develop skills that will last with you for a lifetime. However, for that to happen, you need to shift your perspective.

For instance, if your boss is unorganized, help him stay organized instead of complaining. If your boss is habitually critical of you, practice the art of taking criticisms from a rational view and committing to self-improvement rather than swaying towards dejection.


Develop the habit of meditation

Handling a negative situation could affect your enthusiasm and energy. Meditation can help to boost and maintain your energy levels.

Meditation is a simple way to keep negativity away and strengthen you to face any situation head-on. Only when you are peaceful and unaffected from within, will you remain unaffected in a negative situation.

Tip: During your office noon break, take few minutes to meditate. This will ensure that the remaining half of the day also goes well for you.

Yoga tips to save your energy and mind

Your boss’ words are in essence just simple sound waves - nothing more. But, they strike at you in all strangeness, ready to wreck your  mind.

Two more yogic tricks to your aid:

  • Hakini Mudra

Join the fingertips of both hands with each other. This is a mudra that keeps your mind balanced and energy level intact. It saves you from the emotional distress, allowing you to respond with rationality.

Tip: Do it in the midst of your boss’ conversation with you. He will never know how your innocent looking hands are saving your mind.

  • The nasal sound or hunkaar

The hunkaar is a sound that is generated from the nose while breathing out. It dispels the negativity in your mind.

Tip: Do it after a grueling session with your boss, albeit, outside his vicinity.


Inspired by talks from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

(With inputs from Prashant Lalchandani, Faculty, The Art of Living)