How to Deal With an Ignorant Boss?

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Almost everyone in the office can associate with having to deal with a boss or different organizational leader who had zero self-awareness. Leaders who are unaware of their own denying influence on colleagues hinder organizational effectiveness.

What are your options?

Give Up. It is said that people join companies but leave bosses. But what if you actually enjoy your work and your coworkers, and don’t want to leave the firm? Besides, what happens next time you find yourself in the same situation?

Bear It. This resolution creates a pressure-cooker scenario. Acquiring the situation as-is does nothing to solve what is most likely a real problem that is influencing your production. It is not going to fix itself, no matter how many subtle hints you drop.

Complain to HR. In my experience, HR will suggest that you address your issues directly with your boss. HR will not be able to sway any change in your boss’s behavior without drawing up specific examples. Plus, your boss is apparently going to take it out on the team if an unidentified complaint is filed. (If your boss is involved in immoral or illicit behavior, by all means, tell HR.)

Revenge. If you think this is a viable alternative, please contact your Employee Assistance Program or another mental health professional and get some help before something bad happens.

Feedback. Having a discussion with the leader in the puzzle is the only solution that might change the situation and allow you to keep your job – even if it seems like the most challenging dilemma. So how do you courteously inform your boss that he is negatively influencing your or the company’s performance?

5 Tips for Furnishing Leaders Feedback:

1. Stop the name-calling and talking behind his back about it (and griping on public forums!). It only labors to damage your own honor, and it feeds your rage.

2. Understand that the “clueless” leader is the norm, not the outlier. The higher up in the organization you are, the fewer people tell you what you don’t want to hear. And you don’t see the change.

3. Get transparent about what the real issue is. If you’ve been toiling with this boss for a while, odds are that everything he says is annoying. Take a step back to understand what really needs to be addressed. If it still seems like a lot of things, choose the most important. You don’t want to create a laundry list or it will seem like an assault.

4. Make sure you are in a proper frame of mind for an effective conversation. Surround it with a genuine perspective that you are trying to help your boss, or at least doing the best thing for the company. If you go into the conversation seeking to right a violation or to exact some kind of revenge, not only will your boss be more defensive during the conversation, but it will be more awkward afterward.

5. Plan when you will have the conversation. You don’t certainly have to record it with your boss, but know ahead of time for yourself when and where you will speak.

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