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Should You Go over Your boss ‘ Head – How to Deal with a Bad Supervisor

Holly Hicks,

Should You Go Over Your boss' Head - How to Deal With a Bad Supervisor

A decision to go over your boss’ head can be tricky, since upper management may choose to concur with your boss’ actions. In these cases, the boss can make the bad situation that you are currently in, worse. So, it is important for every individual to evaluate their personal situations before they react.

As a general rule, bad bosses come in different flavors. While some are manipulative, controlling and mean, others may be simply unprofessional and incompetent. Which means, each individual will have to identify what types of problems that they are dealing with. Listed below are two common types of bad boss’ and some recommendations for handling them.

Unprofessional and Incompetent:

Let’s take a look at how to deal with the unprofessional and incompetent boss first. In some cases, people like to promote their personal friends into positions of authority even when they do not have the leadership skills or ability. These people may come up through the ranks but they were never high achievers because they were already friends with the boss and their associates. Consequently, when they are promoted into a higher position, they may not know the proper procedures and cannot direct their staff accordingly. Which means, they may keep the operation in chaos because they cannot provide clear direction to their employees.

Even though this specific situation may not seem critical, it is because this type of manager can make their employees jobs a nightmare. For instance, the direction that they give may reverse a decision that was thoroughly researched by previous management before its implementation. Hence, when the less competent manager gives a new direction, everyone in the operation may have to make major adjustments in the processes to correct it. In some instances, employees may have to stay all night to get their work done.

If these situations occur often enough, the employee should address the situation with the immediate boss first. Instead of following incorrect directives, flip the script, and then let the leadership for your job functions come from you If your boss is receptive, they will be glad to receive the help and allow you to continue without disruption. This should be done before considering going above his or her head.

Manipulative, Controlling and Mean Bosses:

Sometimes a manager may fall in the manipulative, controlling and mean category. This class of difficult managers can also present a huge problem to employees that they manage. Hence, going over their head is a decision that must be made very carefully. These are the managers that will retaliate if upper management concurs with their decisions. Therefore, if the employee chooses to follow this route, it is best to be well prepared to see this battle all the way through.

When preparing for the meeting with upper management, the employee should carry any type of documentation that they have to the meeting. Accusations of what the boss is and is not doing is not sufficient, the employee must have documented proof. For instance, if the boss is not applying the rules fairly to all employees (based on the companies policies). The employee must site specific instances where this has occurred (i.e. names, dates, times and circumstances).

As stated above, a decision to go over your boss’ head can be tricky. Therefore, it is important for you to evaluate your personal situation before reacting.

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