Life Style
Dealing with an abusive bossPublish Date: Feb 05, 2014
Dealing with an abusive boss
  • mail
  • img
newvision

It’s no secret that there are abusive bosses out there — you know the type. Bullies with big job titles that make the people working for them miserable.

 
According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, an abusive boss is more likely to be a woman than a man.
Woman to woman bullying represents 50% of all workplace bullying; man to woman is 30%, man to man 12% and woman to man bullying is extremely rare - only 8%.
 
What should you know if you’re the victim of an abusive boss? Here are five tips.

Identify the behaviour
There are all kinds of abusive bosses. There are the constant critics who use put-downs, insults and name-calling. They may use aggressive eye contact to intimidate.
 
There are also two-headed snakes who pretend to be nice, while all the while trying to sabotage you.
Then there are the control freaks.
 
These ones ultimately want to control your life while at work. 
Another type is the screaming ‘mimis’ who are emotionally out of control and explosive.
 
Don’t take it lying down
If your boss insults you or puts you down, Susan Futterman, author of, When You Work for a Bully suggests responding with something like, “In what way does calling me a moron or an idiot solve the problem? I think there is a better way to deal with this.”
 
If your boss has been defaming you, that’s illegal. You may want to consult an attorney.
 
If your boss is a control freak who’s breathing down your neck, you should address it. Say, “I can’t function effectively if you’re going to be micromanaging me and looking over my shoulder all the time. If I’m doing something wrong, let’s talk about it.”
 
If someone screams at you, don’t be a doormat. If you’ve made a mistake, acknowledge it. But let your boss know that they’re creating a difficult work environment. 

Take notes
Documenting your boss’ bad behaviour is important for two reasons.
First, you might not even realise the extent of the problem. Futterman explains: “Taken in isolation, these events may seem trivial, but taken as a whole, it often becomes clearer what’s actually going on. Your written records can document how severe the situation is.”
 
And, of course, if you decide to take legal action down the line, you may need the information. It’s best to document these incidents as soon as possible so they’re fresh in your mind.
 
Documentation is also important if you plan to report the behaviour to your boss’ boss or to your company’s human resources department. 
 
Know when it’s too much
Bosses may exhibit bad behaviour sometimes. Hey, no one is perfect, not even bosses. But if your boss is abusing you, that’s a problem.
The problem takes on greater urgency if the abuse starts to make you feel bad. If you chronically suffer high blood pressure that started only when you began working for your boss.
When the bullying has had a prolonged affect on your health or your life outside of work, it’s time to get out. It’s also time to leave if your confidence or your usual good performance has been undermined.

Control your destiny
Even after you leave your nightmare boss, you’ll still have to explain why you left to potential new employers.
Futterman advises against dramatising your old work situation. 
 
“You don’t want to start recalling and recounting the abuse you suffered. You’ll inevitably get upset and that’s not the way you want to handle a job interview,” she says.
 
Try to control the interview situation to the extent you can. Don’t give your abusive boss as a reference. A good choice might be a colleague or a peer you’re on good terms with or someone who can speak about you professionally.
 
Also, if you only worked for your bullying boss for a short time, you may want to consider leaving that job off your resume altogether.
 
Internet

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Don
One of the most senior members of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government sparked an outcry on Tuesday after declaring that women should not laugh loudly in public....
Runaway bride forced to abort accused of theft
At just 18-years, she was forced to terminate her lover's pregnancy and given away to another man. A month into her arranged marriage she fled; now she is accused of theft....
I left street, drugs, for phone repairing
In a small single-roomed shop, Ishak Kalumba is busy repairing a phone. His white sleeveless vest, which exposes sizeable biceps, and baggy trouser with six pockets, speak of his youth....
I escaped death by hugging the murderer
Patricia Nalukwago, the proprietor of XPAP Forex Bureau in Entebbe, is successful in her own way. But Nalukwago is living a life shrouded in anxiety. Twice, unknown gun-wielding assailants have shot at her car and house in Entebbe....
Spanish nightclub closed over sex-for-drinks game
A nightclub on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca where a young woman performed oral sex on several men reportedly in exchange for free drinks was ordered shut for a year by local authorities...
‘I cannot ask sex workers to quit’
A woman who describes herself as the "ssenga (counselor) of sex workers" says she cannot ask prostitutes to quit the trade....
Should private schools and institutions be given tax exemption?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter