If your boss treats you badly, it’s easy to start blaming yourself. And dwelling on all the things wrong with you that you always suspected. Or that you heard as a kid. This can really mess with your head.
So I’m writing this post especially for you. To explain why it’s NOT your fault if a boss treats you badly. If they make you feel stupid or incompetent. Or if they bully you.
Sure, there may be things you’re doing that need improvement. We all make mistakes and we all have room to grow. But …
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The way a boss treats you is NOT your fault.
Their actions are their choice.
They can choose to be a good boss or a bad one.
And neither of those choices is your responsibility or fault!
Sure you may make mistakes. We all do.
Or even not be the best at your job — at least at the moment.
But no one deserves to be treated badly by the person who is in charge.
How a bad boss acts
Again, I am separating your ability to do the job as required or desired from how the boss actually acts toward you. Or even whether this is the right job for you in the long run. We all deserve respect regardless.
But if your boss does any of the following, it is a reflection on their management skills. Not on who you are as a human being.
- belittles you
- makes you feel small
- acts as if problems are all your fault
- shifts the blame to you when they are at fault
- feedback only focuses on what’s wrong
- no encouragement or mentoring
- screams at you regularly
- leaves you hanging in the wind after blowing up at you
- makes you feel afraid to offer opinions or speak up at all
- singles you out as the scapegoat
Signs of a good boss
So what kinds of things would a good boss do?
- give you feedback along the way to help you know how you’re doing
- offer suggestions to help you improve
- provide training if needed
- make sure they give you positive feedback along with any criticism
- find your strengths and try to grow those
- adjust tasks / responsibilities if at all possible to better use staff skills
- never scream or use words like “stupid” or “incompetent” (OK. Maybe once or twice when things are going really wrong it can happen even to the best of bosses. But then they apologize.)
All that said, if a boss treats you badly …
We can’t change our bosses. Not usually. So the best we can do is try to change something about ourselves that might make things better.
That doesn’t mean we are at fault. It’s just the wisest course of action if you want to try to make the job work for you — at least for now.
Perhaps something about the way we work. Or the way we respond to our bosses. Maybe even the way we handle whatever comes our way, so that we aren’t adding to the problem.
NOTE: If your day is all about abuse and bullying, please do think about moving on asap. No one deserves that. But if you can’t leave for whatever reason, hopefully some of what I’ve written can help.
Some articles to help: