July 19, 2011
6 Tips on Coping with "Horrible Bosses"
So when your boss is crazy, cruel, or just plain old incompetent, how do you cope?
Shawn Achor, the author of "The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work" and a well-known expert on positive psychology, offers these six tips on staying positive in a stressful workplace:
1. Train your brain to scan for the good. Say three things you’re grateful for twenty-one days in a row and you can literally re-wire your brain to be more positive.
2. Smile while you work. Research shows that bursts of positivity cause people to think more intelligently and creatively, and work more productively. When we’re happy, our neurons fire faster and more efficiently.
3. Brighten your environment. Everything around you—from the color of your walls to the mood of your coworkers—affects the way you think and feel. Surround your desk with pictures and objects that prime you for positivity—your mood and your brain will thank you.
4. Use your words. Neuroscientists have discovered that verbalizing thoughts can act like a wet blanket on the fire of negative emotions—the simple act of putting emotions into words immediately decreases their magnitude. Keeping a weekly diary also enhances your decision-making skills and improves your progress towards goals.
5. Invest in people. Smart people do stupid things during times of stress, like shutting down their social networks to focus on work. The greatest predictor of success during stress and challenge is the quantity and quality of your relationships. Strong social bonds enrich our daily lives, give meaning to our work, and even improve our physical health. Take time to strengthen these connections in your life.
6. Think about work as a sprint not a marathon. After two hours of continuous work, your brain function actually slows and your body starts to rapidly accumulate stress and strain. The secret to beating this pattern is to take strategically placed energy breaks throughout the day. Split up your work day into short sprints of 90-120 minutes, then take time for 5 minutes of recovery. You’ll feel more positive and see a big jump in your concentration and productivity.
For more tips, see "Seven Ways to Handle Your Dysfunctional Office."
How have you coped with a horrible boss? Share your stories in the Comments section.
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Love the blog and tips on how to stir clear of completely going under and hating your boss :-) Looking forward to sharing on our social sites!
Posted by: JensM | Jul 20, 2011 12:06:31 PM
A bad boss is actually GOOD for you. Why? Because you can use those negative emotions to propel you toward something better. Keep thinking about your crazy boss and lousy job each day, and you can motivate yourself to take actions every day that move you to a better situation.
I know, I've done it.
I made the transition from frustrated employee--with a micromanaging boss--to satisfied business owner. I started a consulting business part-time, and built it into a full-time endeavor which is the sole income for my family of 4. I make several times what I used to make at my day job, and have much more flexibility. I've posted about how a bad job/boss can be good for you on my blog, and also discuss practical, concrete things you can do to start and run a successful consulting business, along with tools, tips, tricks, and techniques for automating your business and keeping costs to a minimum.
Whether you decide to start your own consulting business as I and lots of others have done, you can use a bad job to propel you toward a better place.
Posted by: Greg Miliates | Jul 22, 2011 10:02:58 AM
Interestingly, I've known a few people who benefited from a horrible boss. Of course, it's not exactly the result the boss wanted to achieve. Some people tend to unite better if they're all being treated shoddily by the boss. Others learn what NOT to do when it comes to running a team.
Posted by: Eleanor | Jul 23, 2011 2:31:31 AM
Most Bosses requesting something and when they discovered that what they requested is wrong they started to blam you or throw you in front of their bosses....!!!!!
Posted by: Mike | Jul 23, 2011 10:04:52 AM
I appreciate the advice and tips on not going crazy with a terrible boss. I've created my own top ten list of characteristics of horrible bosses. I hope you can check it out and let me know what you think.
Posted by: Keith Ross | Jul 30, 2011 4:40:47 PM
Nice tips,Good thing I browse the net and get some tips enable to have a friendly environment and leave out of stress.
Posted by: interview preparation | Aug 1, 2011 4:48:14 AM
I have a good story about a bad boss : I work as a marine engineer. This was when I was an engine cadet (trainee). The engine cadet has no specific responsibilities and is therefore perfect for taking shit from all his superiors.
The officer the cadet reports to is the second engineer. My second was such a piece of work that he would find fault with me even when I worked overtime just to cover my backside. Sounds impossible you say? Not for this guy. At one point of time he just said to me point blank, whatever you do, you get screwed!
I hope no one has to go through something like that!
Posted by: Career Aptitude Test | Aug 16, 2011 11:56:38 AM
Great information, Well Put !! Enjoying your website.
Posted by: PAT Testing | Aug 26, 2011 6:57:49 PM
Great tips there from Shawn Achor, they will certainly make working life that much less stressful.
Posted by: Steve | Sep 16, 2011 8:44:49 PM
Muy buen post, me ha gustado, gracias. Good Post. Thank you.
Posted by: Tenerife69 | Sep 23, 2011 12:22:47 PM
I'm all for voting with your feet. If your boss is an idiot, leave!
Posted by: investment banking cv | Oct 3, 2011 9:39:33 AM
Great post. Thanks for sharing your tips with how to get along with the boss. But what if you still can not work it out do you find another job?
Posted by: Work At Home | Oct 3, 2011 11:50:44 AM
I can see why come would say that having a bad boss is something to focus on to motivate you to move on and do something better with your life, such as becoming your own boss. However, I prefer to focus on the things I'm grateful for and keep my mind in a positive mode, while still thinking of how to move on and better my situation.
Posted by: How to Relieve Stress | Oct 4, 2011 8:12:05 AM
yeah i agree with alot of the points made - rather than winge about how much of a %*%&% your boss is learn from his errors so that one day when your in that situation you will now how to act
Posted by: Stu | Oct 4, 2011 4:01:21 PM
Very good tips. I will definatley use them. I like the one about retraining your brain. Thanks!
Posted by: Kelly Johnson | Oct 4, 2011 8:09:13 PM
I would not say my boss is horrible but he can make some changes in his attitude to make my life better. For starters he can stop taking credit for the work I do. He he cannot give me the entire credit at least he can let other know that even I have contributed to the task. Apart from that I don't have any other major problem with my boss.
Posted by: Jobs in the Medical Field | Oct 14, 2011 7:41:03 AM
Mean bosses are evil. I have had several ignorant people who I would have loved to slash tires on their cars... So get yourself a tech job and use remote file sharing for your meetings so you don't even have to deal with a mean boss in person!!
Posted by: Robert Partridge | Oct 25, 2011 8:38:36 PM
I'd have to agree with one comment here that a bad boss can be good for you. However, human as we are, we can't help but be very annoyed just like the movie Horrible Bosses. Plotting a murder is not the best idea out there but a lesser evil way is to send out anonymous hate mails to the boss and threatening him to spill out his secrets. I guess everyone has a skeleton in their closet. Maybe that can help you release the burden in your heart. Oh by the way, I found a site which can help you send out anonymous emails. It's called ihatemycoworker.com.
Posted by: Johnny | Feb 5, 2012 9:32:50 AM
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