When a Good Boss Becomes a Bad Boss

You enjoy your work and have a good relationship with your boss when you begin to notice that things are different; something is changing. The compliments become fewer and the criticisms more regular. The tactics that you used to keep your boss happy, don’t work anymore. Your good boss becomes a bad boss. What to do?

1. Have You a Part to Play?

If your relationship with your boss has changed, can you see what’s really going on? Have you been slacking recently? Been off your game? Maybe you’re unhappy with a decision your boss has made. The change may have nothing to do with you, but it is worth checking in with yourself and being honest to make sure that you are not part of the problem. If you find that you are, what can you do to resolve your part in the situation?

2. Don’t Take it Personally 

When someone changes their behavior towards us for the negative, it can be easy to take it personally, but try not to, whatever the situation. Stay professional and consistent. 

3. Try to See the Bigger Picture

If you have ruled out your part in the change, is there a change coming in the structure of the company? Is your boss’s job in jeopardy? Is your boss having personal issues? You don’t need to pry, but just trying to see and understand the bigger picture can help you to deal with the situation more effectively.

4. Be Direct

If things get worst with your boss and you have tried everything to understand and deal with the situation, it might be worth setting up a meeting with them to try to get to the bottom of what is going on.

Be positive and let them know you have really enjoyed your working relationship, but have noticed that things seem different recently. You could list some examples before you meet so that you can give them some tangible evidence of what you feel has changed.

Unless things are serious and you don’t feel that you can deal directly with your boss, try to go to them in the first instance, rather than to HR or to their manager. Being direct with your boss gives them an opportunity to be honest with you, whatever is going on. They may not be aware of the impact their behaviors been having, for example. You can always escalate the issue if you don’t feel you have reached a satisfactory conclusion but to start with, give them the opportunity to work things out with you.

Clearing the air can be a real opportunity for both parties to understand each other better and improve their working relationship.

Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach, Mentor & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.

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