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bad manager, what to do

By louis29 ·
I've been in my current position for very nearly 12 months. I work in a small IT department, me and my boss. Its my bosses first management position and i've got to be honest he's not very good at it. Things have been getting more and more strained between us because I get that he doesn't trust me, He never delegates, and can never take my word for something he always has to go back and check and do things his way. Recently he has started picking me up on even the smallest things even things that aren't my fault. Its got to the point now where it's starting to effect my life inside and outside of work. My confidence and motivation has gone and i come home from work and it just winds me up even more!!! What should i do? I'm currently looking for a new position but with no confidence its quite difficult to sell yourself in an interview. If i was to hand my resignation in, how do i explain it to future employers. Or what would people views of taking 6 months off then travelling be. Im 24 years of age with 2 years commercial experiance

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The Golden Rule

by jcjr031064 In reply to bad manager, what to do

I can relate to your experience. I once had an officemate who compared me with another fellow and i was getting the bad end of it. It shattered my self-confidence.

What I did was to remember that i can bring any matter to the Lord - big or small. For some it might be a small thing. Big or small, it was affecting me. Times come when the challenges are more than we can handle. So I prayed to the Lord about the problem. Sometime later, the person became nice to me - Of course faith in God allows me this:)

Give your boss a chance. Prove your worth. Be good to him when he is good and be better when he is bad.

That way when you leave - you will be missed - your attitude and your productivity- and when your future employer asks him about you - I don't see any reason he'll say anything bad about you - unless he wants you back really badly :)

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Many times a good quarter back need to lean how to coach.

by Beoweolf In reply to bad manager, what to do

After a year, you are way past your probationary period. I say that to bring up a point; a possible reason for a manager (especially in a smaller shop) to question the actions and bird dog an employee, is what he feels is a lack of progress or committment, Whether its true or just an impression based on comparing your work ethic to his or her fanaticism is something only you can evaluate.

First...its way past time to have a sit-down with this manager, ask if there is some specific reason he seems to be dissatisfied with your work lately. The point is to clear the air, so no matter how nit-picky his complaints come across, take the time to listen without comment until you get the jist of the problem.

If the issue have any validity, ask what he needs you to do to resolve the problem, what you are looking for are specific directions with identifiable goals and milestones.

You manager, justified or not, seems to have issues with you performance. So far he has been unable to communicate clearly what that problem is so you will need to get it out in the open so that it can be addressed. That should be his job, but as a lot of new managers find out...hints are not the same as directions. Most technicians are loath to correct or second guess a colleage, but but a manager is responsible for the output, performance of his subordinates. If anything he is failing you, by not explaining what the problem is.

It is very possible that the issue may be based somewhere higher on the food chain. His boss(es) may be going thru another round of cost cutting and putting pressure on him to justify your retention. He may be going thru first phases of job burn-out, many freshman managers have not learned how to turn off the job when they get home and take problems as a personal reflection of competence.

Bottom line: clear the air with your present boss or prepare your resume, put out feelers with your peers and start discrete inquiries towards looking for a new position. Even in the stressful, job market of today, there is no excuse to remain in a position you find toxic. You can't continue to tip toe around your boss. Do both of you a favor and either get on the same page or move on.

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Good advice

by Raven2 In reply to Many times a good quarter ...

You hit all the points. We are ultimately responsible for our lives. Take charge of it or resign yourself to years of 'victimhood". Your choise, but don't say you were not warned.

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Talk to him/her

by mark.harris In reply to bad manager, what to do

You have to discuss this with your boss, and then with his/her boss if it doesn't improve.
You might begin by asking what behaviors you have that are causing your boss not to trust you. What does he/she think induces trust? If you are indeed doing those things, then do your best to stop.
You'd be surprised how much can change with just a few small changes. As he/she trusts you more (via your behaviors), you'll both behave differently and things will improve.
This is not about blaming yourself, it's about changing things you can change. You're not about to get your boss to change by asking him. That doesn't work with anyone in your life -- not permanently. You can only change your own behavior.
That said, if you try this for a while (say, 6mo) and it doesn't work, then it might be time to give up & get another job. But you'll have the confidence that you tried your best.

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Help Your Boss Be A Better Boss

by Wayne M. In reply to bad manager, what to do

Remember, your boss's reputation relies on the work that you do. He may not be used to accepting that sort of pressure, so help him ease into it.

Don't be concerned if he wants to check up on your work. Instead, as soon as you are done, go get him to give it a once over. If he points something out, ask him what you should have done differently.

If there are some tasks that are hot issues with him, be pre-emptive and ask him how you should approach the task. He may still come back later and complain, but resist the urge to say you did what he told you. Just ask what you should have done and leave it.

By doing this, you will start to understand what your boss is looking for, even if he can't quite articulate it. You will also start building his trust that you are trying to do the job his way.

Focus on doing your best. Don't be overly concerned with someone checking up on what you are doing; often that is an indication that he thinks it is important. I don't think the situation you describe justifies quitting the job, but you are closer to the situation than I am. If the greatest concern is how other employees would view an employed period on one's resume, the situation is probably not that bad.

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by mt_abbas In reply to bad manager, what to do

Your manager is feeling very insecure at that position. Talking to him would not be very useful. Just follow his directions, may be that might give him some sense of security and he gradually changes his attitude.

Another possibility is that he wants you to leave. If I were you, I would keep a low profile and stay put and wait until his patience runs out and he does something contrary to company's dicipline (swearing, racial remarks, insulting....) That is the time, when you hit back by reporting it to his manager or the HR. This will put the manager on defensive as it will bring his management skills into question.

And also remember in reality, the subordinates fire their manager. His boss only bring news to him.

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First things first.

by Raven2 In reply to bad manager, what to do

1. Take care of yourself. Do some work to get your resume and self esteem together. Have a resignation letter in your briefcase, so if you need to you can hand it to bozo and walk out.

2. Here is an exercise to get you going. Do a list of 25 accomplishments, you will need to ask for help with this. Talk to supportive friends, co-workers, or other counsilers. And I do not mean have a "pity party", candidly talk about your strengths, skills, talents, and goals.When you have them look for themes or threads that are in most or all of them.

This will be the basis for resume review and setting goals. Use that information to review your resume so it can be updated and revised.

3. Step up your networking, or start networking. It is here where you will find your next job.

A company where you have to put up with bad managers is not a company to stay with. General Patton said that moral problems do not start at the bottom of the command chain but at the top.

As to what to say to a potential employer regarding leaving a company. -"I decided that I could find a better place to use my talents by looking outside of my current company." Everyone has had to deal with management bozos.

Good luck, An online site that has some no / low cost mini-seminars that touch upon some of the points I made is
Another suggestion is to take a look at employing a career coach to help you make the transition.
Recommendation of

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Read with caution...

by UplinkSpider In reply to bad manager, what to do

Many will hurry to give you advice and it?s very likely that their advice is going to appeal to reason but it?s only good advice if you?re dealing with reason but it?s obvious that reason is far removed from the scenario. If I read right there?s the boss and there?s the subordinate who due to being the only one around the boss, and under his command, he doesn?t have an opportunity to vent off to anybody else or become distracted by anyone else. We?re not dealing with a logical situation here but with an emotional one so why not put logic away and employ emotion. Let?s say you come to a confrontation, can he or will he fire you? Who will he then boss? My advice is not popular but do dare to go head on with the boss, pound per pound butt heads with him or her as the case may be. If he doesn?t own the company then he must have a boss himself to answer to and explaining why he needs to fire somebody is not an easy task. And if the boss is a male and the subordinate a female, watch out. Who knows, you may even have a law suit in your favor. Better yet, take your boss as a mentor, ask his advise, empower him, make it his ideas that you act on, compliment him and most likely you?ll find that your boss will mentor you and if you decide to go head on with your boss and he fires you then you?ll be illegible for unemployment and you?ll have the bragging rights to say that you went toe to toe with a meat head. You?ll be surprise how these dynamics work, many great working relationships, as in love, come about as the result of a climatic confrontation. Bottom line is you don?t need to allow yourself to be degraded or subject yourself to abusive behavior. Stand up to yourself, yep, yourself and your fears and believe in yourself. I did say that my advice wasn?t popular and most likely will be followed my a string of rebuttals. Take care.

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sounds familiar....

by mtaylor In reply to bad manager, what to do

Well, this is pretty much what I have to deal with here. My boss got on the fast track to the dept head by way of a bad choice of the company to hire a leader for us which we did not need. This person, who was the department head before my current boss, was not a technology person and had little experience in anything but BSing his way through things. He took my current boss under his wing to make sure that he had his butt covered from the tech end, then rewarded him by giving him a glowing recommendation for promotion to the dept head after he left.

Problem being, the kid (and I say "kid" because this boss of mine is only 28!) has ZERO people management skills. His way of solving a problem is to make a change or decision that will "fix" things quickly, basically so he won't have to deal with them any longer and get onto "more important things."

He is one of those numbers managers who micromanages everything, trusts no one (even himself), uses managese terms like "proactive" and is very regimented. Basically he is a tight[butt].

Worse yet, his lack of trust and micromanagement have been pupmped up even further by an employee in the dept who takes advantage of freedoms (like time off) and is barely qualified to do his job. So my manager is constantly having his worst fears realized by this person's ineptitude and absence!

I have my M.S. in management science. I was never considered for a position in management, even though I once owned my own business! Why? Becasue my management style and my boss's are so radically different that he thinks that I cannot manage! I am the type of manager that hires people that I know can do the work, give them direction and guidence, but then LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS! IF they need help or if there is a problem, I will trust them to address this with me. If I see that they need help, I will offer it. What I do not do is jump all over things to make sure that they are actually getting done every moment of the working day. I am not a micromanager.

My boss however is. Example: Yesterday (because this happens EVERY DAY here) I got a call from someone for help. I was on my way into an unavoidable important meeting. The helpdesk manager had come down to ask me if I could go to the person that needed help. I told him that I could not. All of this was in front of my boss's open door. My boss immediately suggested that my my colleague go instead (DUH!) and so I said, "OK, I will ask him to go," and I did.

Within 10 seconds, my boss was on the phone to the same person that he just asked me to take over for me asking him if "he was on it!" Now I ask: Is that necessary? Of course not!

This is how I live here. So, I understand.

What to do? Well, here it is just a question of how much longer I can stay until I find something new. I have attempted to speak to him about his problems, owned up to my portion of what may be contributors to problems, only to find that every time I lose. In speaking to one of my other colleagues who is a professor of management, he peggs my boss as being someone who needs control in his life or he dies. And even if you win an argument/conversation with him, you still lose because his control goes all the way to his being right and steering conversation!

Is this what you are dealing with? Well, if so my suggs are these:

1. Realize where the problem is. It is never just one person. you may be partially responsible for these problems BUT NEVER take ownership of your manager's. Your problems are yours. If they are not really problems, though recognize them for what they really are and move on.

2. Talk to him/her about it. Use an off-worksite neutral location. Ask question for clarification, do not be accusatory, talk about how you perceive the situation. REHEARSE it first. If your manager still seems to be clueless that there is a problem or doesn't seem to want to own up to responsibility for themselves in this, at least then you know that you may have to make another choice.

3. If your manager refuses to see anything but how they want to see things, re-evalutate your position there. there is no sense in beating your head against an immovable wall. there is a stigma attached to being a leader and that is "I am YOUR leader and you will do as I say because I am your leader." This "because I said so" attitude is not the right attitude to have, and will lead to problems. A good leader will listen, ask questions, take total stock of any situation and realize that they are indeed employees themselves and therefore only worthy of respect and leadership if they can execute it properly. Anyone else doesn't belong in a leadership position.

4. Don't beat yourself up about your manager's ineffectiveness. It's not your problem. If they can't see that you are a good employee, screw em! You know you are. If they refuse to see that, move on.

I hope that this helps. If you need anything else, e-mail me. It's always good to bounce things off another person!

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by eyost05 In reply to bad manager, what to do

Look, you cannot be all things to all people, so perhaps you can be true to yourself and allow you to grow.
Life is all about action and acting.
No one can tell exactly what your thoughts are so even if you are not confident you can exude confidence while being interviewed. This is not lying. The only way you can be confident is to experience it through acting it out. Remember those times when you gained confidence in past experiences and then during the interviews bring that image to mind and live it out. The interviewer will see this as pure confidence.
Also, keep in mind that you are leaving your position to better yourself (more opportunity) a word of caution...always speak highly of your current or past employers no matter what.
Positivity will get you that better position that you deserve.
good luck, no go kick some butt and get that new position in a better environment.

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