Ask a life coach Uncategorized

Ask a Life Coach: Difficult Boss


How do I deal with a difficult boss?


Do you have a difficult boss? Do you find it hard to work with your boss or feel that you cannot do anything right? Having a difficult boss can make life hard. At the end of the day, you want to have a good relationship with your boss as they can influence your career and affect your work experience.

Here are a few thoughts about how to deal with a difficult boss:

Identify The Problem

What specifically do you find difficult about working for your boss? Be specific. For example, do you feel that they never recognize the work you do? Maybe you feel that they never give clear instructions and consequently you find it hard to know what to do in order to do your job well. There may be many things that you find hard about working for your boss. Getting clear about the problem(s) will help you to find a solution or at least a more satisfactory way to deal with it.

Take Responsibility

What is your part in the difficult relationship between you and your boss? It is easy to think that “it is all them” when we encounter difficult relationships but this does not give you any power around the situation. If you see your boss as 100% the problem, what can you do unless they change? Deep down we all know that we cannot really change anyone else.

So what is your part? This can be difficult to confront, but it is worthwhile doing. For example, do you need constant reassurance? Do you find it hard to take feedback? Is your work sometimes sloppy or rushed?

This isn’t about making yourself wrong or alleviating your boss’s responsibility. Being honest about role in your work relationships and your work performance can help you see things from your bosses’ perspective which can only help to facilitate communication between you and your boss. Taking responsibility for your part, however small will give you more power in being able to deal with the situation.

Don’t Accept Bullying

If you think that your boss is bullying you, seek support. Your Union can offer you appropriate support and advice. Contact your Local President or visit your Local website at for advice on workplace issues and challenges.


Communication is key to any relationship. Though it can be hard when things are difficult with a boss, try to keep the doors of communication open. Try not to take things personally and really listen to your boss. Often a bumpy relationship can be smoothed over in time with a little understanding.

Do you have a difficult boss or have you had one in the past? If so, I would love to hear how you have dealt with it.

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