How to work effectively with a difficult boss


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    Key Books

    The Allure Of Toxic Leaders: Why We Follow Destructive Bosses And Corrupt Politicians--and How We Can Survive Them

    Bully in Sight: How to Predict, Resist, Challenge and Combat Workplace Bullies

    In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing With Manipulative People

    Tactics Of A Workplace Serial Bully Boss

    "Then there is another type of bully boss which most people would not even perceive as a bully. The “closet” bully boss is actually much more prevalent and more dangerous than the ranter or raver described above. This type of bully boss is very cleaver in their ability to hide their bullying behaviors and to manipulate the perception of bystanders against the “target”."

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    Comments: [add a comment]

    User: anonymous
    Date: 7/2/2008 9:15:00 AM

    From the link above: "In my first emotional assault, my bully called me into a meeting with her and a Human Resource Rep to “discuss my needs”, only to reprimand me for “intimidation of subordinates”, a grossly twisted, half truth. My bully boss knows how strongly I feel about treating everyone, especially subordinates, respectfully. Knowing this about me, she knew it would be especially hurtful to accuse me of just that. It upset me horribly and I couldn’t stop crying at my desk for most of that day." This is really true of the serial bully. However, one should never break down and cry when faced with such a boner-head. Crying, being hurt and angry is what provides the sociopath his kicks. Best to give the sad wanna-be a wink and congratulate them on their ploys, though you may want to point out that they were being just a tad bit obvious. Follow it up with a giggle. Bullies hate that!:):)

    User: ooof!
    Date: 10/16/2008 5:01:00 AM

    Or, educate yourself silly on employment laws and see a lawyer. We can learn lessons about how to spot 'em, how to deal, how much more defined our "coping" skills become, but people in power positions have to learn some lessons too. Does that sound tough-ish? I'm so pooped, this kind of situation sure takes the oomph outta me. I'm going to seek lawyer input on my ridiculous circumstance. I'll post the outcome, and I REALLY hope to follow it up with a giggle! I don't know if this applies to your situation, but the workplace dynamic that sometimes happens after a "discussion" like that, leaves one questioning what the subordinates may have been told, what truths they said that were twisted, it's really gross. Feeds the bull, I guess.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 12/14/2008 12:00:00 PM

    With all the research that I have done on work place bullying, I've come to no solution. The bully alway's gets away with every thing and the employee usually quits their jobs, get's sick or dies. The only solution is to kill them and make the world a better place to live in.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/6/2009 3:02:00 PM

    Closet bullies are the worst. They smile at you and are extra nice when other people are around, but behind doors they seek to get you out! They will not win in the end because I am a great believer that you reap what you sow. In the end they destroy their peace and we will become strong!

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/15/2009 4:14:00 PM

    This has been going on for eons. It's not going to stop unless we have them all killed and make this world a better place to live in. Maybe you could make it look like an accident.

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/16/2009 11:44:00 AM

    anonymous, I so agree with you. The woman I work for is HORRIBLE, she's always got some nitpicky criticism for me with never a compliment or acknowledgement for the way I work my a$$ off. I also come in on my off days nearly every time she asks, I do my damndest to try to impress her but she NEVER (and I mean never) has a kind word. It's always being picked on for stupid petty crap that makes you feel like you can't do a damned thing right with her. She also doesn't apply rules fairly and evenly. Some can get away with what others cannot and I canNOT respect a boss who isn't fair. For example, last night (a night so terrible and fraught with her picking on me I nearly walked out of the store) a co-worker had cooked some food for everyone in the breakroom. Well, I had a slow moment and decided to run back there and have a taste. My mistake. Immediately she was on me (in front of co-workers) saying "Is this your break ???? If it isn't, you aren't allowed back here, I need you out there selling books". Uh huh...while my co-workers are back here obviously NOT on THEIR breaks. See what I mean ? I'm very obviously being singled out for unfair treatment. Anonymous, do you know of any professional hit men who whack horrible bosses from Hell ?

    User: anonymous
    Date: 1/21/2009 11:08:00 PM

    If you are an independent contractor, you have no legal recourse to bullying. At least as an employee you have some employment laws to protect you (although vague protection for harassment/bullying). We need to fight for laws to protect us in the workplace. What have we done to our world? Corporate America needs to stand up to these bullies-not run from it for fear of legal repercussions or do nothing because the bully is a performer and makes them money.

    User: SteelMagnolia
    Date: 6/3/2009 4:39:00 AM

    My boss had a smile like an alligator, with many sharp pointed teeth. People either loved or hated him, there was no middle ground. His bullying was what I called "hit and run." He'd say something that sounded innocent on the surface, then walk away just as I realized I'd been put down. The worst was when a colleague on maternity leave brought her baby in. As I was holding the baby, making all the usual delighted noises, my boss said sarcastically "You should have another baby!" He knew I could not have more children. I never forgave him for that.

    User: Nuriel
    Date: 7/1/2009 2:15:00 PM

    My boss chooses her victims well. She is always smiling, but she has a wicked tongue. She is so slick, you have to be astute to know when she is inflicting pain. She told us when she arrived that she had heard that we were dysfunctional, but decided to come any way to try to "fix us." Some of us know that it is just a matter of time before she "outslicks herself."

    User: brothers keeper
    Date: 7/2/2009 12:00:00 AM

    Gawd,,,,,i had the worst of the worst bully boss, reminded me of jekyl and hyde..I hate even thinking of the things she did and said about me, the worst thing she told me when i was worried about my bro..who since past away...she Stood there in front of people..and said R U your brothers keeper??? I was warned about her, that she likes power and control and does not like others who know their job and are good at what they do..she likes the control but doesn't do the work...which is true.....she appears nice when others are around so it was hard to prove as the board members believed her, she does the talk thing over and over again, oooh she had her sister to support her, who was an employee, they shredded information and back up from files and turned around and said my files lacked information etc, it was rough, I cannot believe adults act like tihs and yet they want our youth to behave....since then i have been terminated and got a settlement, which i was forced to take due to financial strain, i wanted to sue them big my company has undeducated people doing my work and the manager doing nothing but travel...they will have their day.........

    User: soulseeker
    Date: 10/17/2009 9:32:00 PM

    I work with a Jekyll and Hyde too, he is bipolar too, he does not know that I know, he is nice to women who flirt with him or act stuped but he cannot handle my inteligence, he is a jerk when he corrects my errors and does not offer help on anything, he is my immediate supervisor and is only good to assign work, sign my timesheet and give me headaches.

    User: Lara206
    Date: 11/3/2009 9:21:00 AM

    I recently worked in a medical office working for a complete bully practice manager! The office atmosphere was awful, patients complained about her, & the other staff member said she was miserable! During my 3rd week of employment, the bully called me on the telephone after hours to tell me I wasn't a good fit & not to come back! She said one of the reasons was that I had asked her if she knew the name of a patient who had come in earlier - she said that was very offensive to her that I would ask her that. (I'm still confused on that...) She had told me every day up until then that I was doing a great job. The other staff member in the office told me that this bully manager didn't like the person who had worked there before me because the physician's wife chose that person & the bully fired her after 2 weeks. Well, the physician's wife also chose me so I think I was doomed from the start. It is very uncomfortable being caught up in a power struggle. The physician's wife had made several comments about the manager during the interview but I didn't catch it. However, those comments make sense now. I am certainly not perfect but I have never been fired or reprimanded on previous jobs - I have always rec'd excellent reviews for my work & attitude. I feel that the bully manager is simply a very unhappy person all around. She always seemed angry & aggravated at the patients when they called or came in. I actually feel sorry for her because she is so miserable! If you work for or have been fired by a bully, just know that some jobs are not right for some people & don't take it personal. Some bosses, especially a bully, can't be made happy regardless. Next time, I will hopefully be able to recognize this early & get out quick!

    User: bleshnak
    Date: 9/19/2010 1:09:00 AM

    The part of the meeting with the HR rep and the bully boss in the comment of 7/2/2008 happened to me on Friday. Same crap, but I never had an outburst. I was asked to do an assessment and report to her. Constant interruptions and a meeting a week later. This woman uses her "agents" to obtain information unethically, sexually, etc. from others. All I can quote is that others have said she's mad beyond belief. I'm still kicking there, but I don't know for how long.

    User: whotargetsnow
    Date: 11/5/2010 5:00:00 PM

    The man who bullied me out of my job claims to be a Christian. But he controls and micro-manages until the staff are scared to do the smallest thing without permission. Two years after I resigned, he still hasn't been able to hold on to a replacement; the position is being advertised again. I feel sorry for whoever gets to sit in my old chair. I was the highest performing fundraiser in the charity, I think he targeted me for bullying because I stood up for someone who got a public telling off in the team meeting.

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