Welcome to February. We’ve had snow, we’ve had the Englandfootball manager resign and we’ve just celebrated The Queen’s 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. All in all quite busy and we’re only in the second week of the month.

The same goes here at Asset Resourcing although our busyness is limited to making sure our candidates find great jobs and our clients secure first class employees and we haven’t let Jack Frost, Fabio or Liz stand in our way!

The start of the year is traditionally associated with resolutions and thoughts of ‘this is the year I’ll get myself the perfect job’, and regardless of your reasons for wanting to move, we endeavour to do all we can to help you get there. However one question lingers – why do you want to move?  Some people want more money; some want a new challenge; some people’s roles have become stale or repetitive; some see no route for progression and some simply can’t stand their boss.

If it’s the last one, you’re most certainly not alone. Recent research suggests that upwards of 70% ofUKemployees are unhappy with their managers and one of the hardest aspects of having a ‘boss from hell’ is that you are left with very few resources to enable you to deal with him or her effectively.

That said, you mustn’t despair. Bad bosses give you an opportunity to think differently and act strategically for your own personal gain.

According to Canadian leadership consultant Shaun Belding, there are three main types of ‘bad bosses’ – aggressive, passive and controlling/manipulating and pitched right, all three can aid your progress providing you can identify the opportunities…

Shouty, aggressive bosses are often viewed as the most debilitating and while most of them have now been consigned to the 1980s or caricature TV comedy sketches, some remain. These days, that sort of behaviour is unacceptable almost everywhere (unless you happen to find yourself in the Manchester United dressing room) and while it can be demoralising and often terrifying, the aggressive boss is usually insecure and weak and he or she is taking out their frustrations/lack of opportunity/personal issues on you. 

It’s very hard to hide being an aggressive boss in an office environment and it’s likely that their unreasonable behaviour has been noted. This means they become easier to manage. Deal with the aggressor by learning to calm him or her while implying that their approach isn’t working but the key is to stay calm. A slanging match in the middle of the office is only ever going to end one way so use reason and logic and the aggression will recede.  

Passive bosses are usually pretty easy to deal with. They don’t like confrontation and are often shy and reserved. Most beneficial to you is that they will duck away from making tough choices and they are generally risk-averse. This type of boss is the most frustrating but they are also far less likely to present a substantial barrier to your own progress. Befriend them and support their seniority. They may turn out to be your perfect ally.  

The most challenging of all ‘bosses from hell’ is the controlling, manipulating boss.

This is someone who is both highly confident and will both notice and take full advantage of your insecurities, so how can they be resisted?

Firstly, they rely on emotion. They have the ability to stir up fear and elation seemingly at will but to counteract that, take the time to rationalise the situation and source the facts. Relying on interpretation is futile because it depends on an emotional response so stick with the facts, calmly ask questions and attempt to level with them.

This is, of course, easier said than done. If you tell them how you feel in a calm, private manner without initially making demands for change, they retain the initiative, which is what they want, but now you have presented the facts.

If you are ignored (which is likely), you have two clear advantages – you have clarity over the situation and you have manoeuvred a route for further action.

The manipulator is obsessed by his or her impact on you and again, their behaviour could be based on their own insecurities so once you can identify them, you can look them in the eye as an equal.

One of the issues we face in modern day society is that in any confrontational situation, we look for a win – lose scenario (as your tormentor would undoubtedly view it) but if you can seek out and achieve a win – win, your working life will become so much easier!

Here at Asset Resourcing, we are not just a recruitment company. We all have been on ‘the other side of the fence’ and most of us in our working lives have experienced a boss we didn’t particularly care for. If you have any issues or would like some advice on management or indeed any aspect of the job market, please contact us. It’s what we’re here for.

If you’ve genuinely had enough of your boss, call us and we will do everything we can to source your perfect job!

Have a good month and we’ll see you in March.

Ben Sweeting & Michelle Scott – Directors, Asset Resourcing

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