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7 tips for handling a mean manager
By Rachel Farrell, Special to Join Home Job Search My CareerBuilder Résumé Center Job Alerts Articles & Quizzes Job Search Strategies Job Info & Trends Résumés & Cover Letters Interview Tips Salaries & Promotions Internships & First Jobs Flex-work, Freelance & Part-time Career Growth & Change Workplace Issues Quizzes Salary Calculators Blogs Career Tests For Employers Post A Job Now Search the Résumé Database
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Michelle Ward has worked for a slew of mean managers in her career. One of the most notable, she says, was a bully. "The better you did your work, the more he'd verbally abuse you," she recalls. The second was when she was an assistant to an executive who made her unpack five boxes -- which she had spent all day packing - so he could have diet orange soda when he came into the office that night. But Ward, now a career coach, says that dealing with these types of managers came down to one thing: standing up for herself. "By standing up for myself and/or not engaging, it allowed me to keep my self-confidence up, regardless. It didn't make it an unemotional situation and it didn't make me enjoy working there, but it felt better for me than taking his [abuse]," she says. When it comes to managers, there are many personality types to deal with -- demanding, micromanaging, handsoff or even relaxed. But perhaps the worst kind of manager to deal with is one who is downright evil. Bosses are mean to their employees for many reasons. Don Hurzeler, author of "The Way Up: How to Keep Your Career Moving in the Right Direction," says one is reason is that people imitate the behaviors they experienced early on in their own careers. "If someone is new in the business, impressionable and sees their boss manage by intimidation and by being a bully, they may think that is the way to be when they

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become a boss," he says.

Some mean managers may not be confident in their own abilities to manage, he adds. "To cover up the fact that they have a poor self-image and poor management communication skills, they become that mean dictator that no one dare question," he says. Some mean bosses will tell you that they're nasty because they have high standards, but that's just an excuse, says Kathi Elster, president of K Squared Enterprises, an executive coaching firm, and author of "Working With You Is Killing Me" and "Working for You Isn't Working for Me." "The real reason that a boss feels they can be mean to their employees is because they are unhappy with their own situation at work. Let's face it, being the boss means that you are in a power position and have control over those who report to you, and it can be tempting to take out your own disappointment on those in a weaker position." It's important to note, however, that there's a difference between a boss who is perceived as mean because he is tough and a boss who is mean because he is a bully, says Treivor Branch, author of "The Drama-Free Workweek" and CEO of The Branch Solution LLC, a workplace issues and conflict resolution consultancy. "A bully enjoys belittling and berating employees to cover up their own insecurities. The bully may scream, yell or humiliate employees to make them feel incompetent and fails to recognize or reward good work," he says. "A boss who is simply tough has high standards of excellence, but at the same time recognizes and rewards employees for good work." Doing good work might be hard in a toxic work environment. While some employees may be able to perform effectively under a mean boss, more will crumble under the consistent pressure of trying to meet the demands of mean, unreasonable boss, Branch says. And that makes for less productivity, which is not good in today's work climate. "Employees perform best in a happy, healthy work environment. Fewer workers taking on greater responsibilities is already a recipe for disaster. Now, add mean or spiteful bosses; employee stress shoots through the roof, thus impacting their ability to effectively complete even mundane tasks," he says. "Bosses who are mean will eventually experience a decrease in employee commitment, a rise in errors and poor work quality, as well as increased

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yell or become aggressive.2:38 PM Print E-mail Discuss MSN Privacy Legal Advertise on MSN RSS About our ads © 2010 Microsoft Feedback Help it is essential for employees to take a stress break when they are confronted with a mean or bully boss. If you don't bring up your grievances in a clear and constructive way. plan your exit. Article Reprints Permission must be obtained from CareerBuilder. Plan your exit "The negative impact of working with a mean boss is too great. Story Filed Monday. Take a break. Do not scream.7 tips for handling a mean manager .com to reprint any of its articles. sit down and talk to the boss. Include what attempts. especially if the situation escalates following your discussion with the boss. If you are in a situation where you work for a mean or spiteful boss. In view of this. Ask open-ended questions. if any. Take time off from work for at least a week and be sure to visit your doctor during this time. the problem is actually yours. Maybe you have missed the point of his or her ineffective behavior. What might sound mean to you is probably just the facts being placed before you. the boss is then given the sword to take you out of the game." Branch says. "Make sure you have not confused 'demanding" with 'mean. were made by you or other employees to address the situation and the outcome of such interventions. broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority. Update your résumé and begin circulating it internally and externally. Suspect yourself and do all you can to deliver as required on your job." Branch says. in some instances. Please send a request to cbreprints@permissionsgroup. here are seven tips from Branch and Hurzeler: 1. but rather seek to understand and resolve any concerns the boss may have which lead to the mean behavior. Keep your tone calm and even.Career Advice Article interpersonal conflicts and team dysfunction. "Work your network to learn about unadvertised opportunities in other areas of the company or at another company. The boss will learn of the negative effect that they are having on you and may work to change his or her ways. Make the distinction. 7." Rachel Farrell researches and writes about job search strategy. The information contained in this article may not be published. nothing will ever change. You win. The mean boss wins and you lose. career management.careerbuilder. 5." Hurzeler says." If you have an evil boss. Report the boss "Make your human resources department aware of the situation. or maybe you do have room for improvement. 6. Be sure to present your documentation." Hurzeler says. Ask how you can better support the boss." Branch says. Constructively confront "Meet with the mean boss to address your concerns. No employee should have to work in a mentally." Branch says. Mean loses." 2. 2011 . "Bring your best game to work every single day and you will outlast or win over the mean] . Keep your emotions intact. "If you have delivered on time and as promised. Include details such as dates. In addition. specifics of the mean boss behavior and employees targeted. "Working for a mean or bully boss can be one of the top stressors in the workplace and can cause severe stress-related health problems.m.' There are lots of demanding bosses out there." Branch says. physically debilitating environment. who demand you do the job you are paid to do.MSN Careers . Make note of negative actions taken by the boss and how they are impacting employee productivity. Document "Employees should begin to document the mean boss's behavior. If you are not qualified to do that job or cannot do the job for some reason. May 02. times." 4. 3. Be careful not to point the finger or focus on the[10/05/2011 09:12:42 a. you may want to contact an attorney as some of the boss's actions may violate laws regarding hostile work environments and may be eligible for legal action. hiring trends and workplace issues for CareerBuilder. Copyright 2011 CareerBuilder All rights reserved. emotionally and. Don't shut down. and the boss is still mean to you. "If you fold up under the pressure of a mean boss. Follow @CareerBuilder on Twitter.

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