Life Style
Dealing with an abusive boss
Publish 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
The Erasmus student exchange scheme has brought so many couples together from across the continent that it has led to the birth of one million babies, the EU said...
Makumbi lives, breathes writing
Still being talked about in literary circles after bagging £5,000 (about sh20m) for winning a literary contest a few months ago, Jennifer Makumbi, shares her passion for the literary world...
Forget high-tech gadgets, crime-hit S.Africans go for coffins
Many properties in crime-ridden South Africa are secured by electronic burglar alarms and high concrete walls topped with high-voltage electric fences, but in the quaint small diamond mining town of Cullinan, coffins are the latest security gadgets....
New super-thin, skin-like condom being developed
The billionaire philanthropist says progress is being made on developing a "next-generation" ultra-thin, skin-like condom that could offer better sexual pleasure,...
American waistlines get bigger and bigger: study
The average American's waistline has expanded over the past decade, adding about one inch (2.5 centimeters) of belly fat among the general public from 1999 to 2012, researchers said...
Nnabegereka launches seventh Kisaakaate
The Nnabegereka of Buganda Kingdom, Sylvia Nagginda, yesterday launched the seventh youth camp that brings together different young people of diverse backgrounds to address issues of teenage pregnancy....
Should bride price be made optional?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter