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Dealing with Bad Managers

By Lena Kinney

In the new movie "Horrible Bosses," three frustrated employees have bosses so bad that they make a pact to kill them.

While that approach might work, there are less extreme methods for dealing with the typical horrible boss.

Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, has a few tips to help employees tolerate a tyrant.

The first would be to try to grin and bear it. If that isn't possible, an employee can try to change the situation by pointing out the problem. Another option is to change jobs within the company. If all else fails, the only option left might be to leave the company -- and the offending boss.

Mr. Handal said most bad bosses either have "serious personality problems" or are inexperienced and do not know how to be a leader.

He advises that if you decide to approach a bad boss to address your concerns, present yourself in a friendly way and lay out the problem so the discussion would be a "win-win" for you and the boss.

Keith Ayers, president of Integro Leadership Institute LLC, said a bad manager has "a lack of respect for employees."

He said bad bosses do not give employees the opportunity to improve themselves and develop new skills. They are "not tapping into the skills of the employee, which is costing the company money."

Further, he said, a bad boss affects employee performance, diverting energy from doing the work to coping with the boss. According to Mr. Ayers, about 80 percent of employees are passionate about the work they do, but half are not passionate about their particular job.

Mr. Ayers has some advice for people forced to deal with a bad boss:

-- First and most importantly, respect yourself, even if your boss doesn't.

-- Do your best every day.

-- Think about who your job is affecting and who is depending on you.

-- Learn more about the company and enhance your skills.

-- Talk to co-workers to see how they feel about the situation.

-- Focus on the purpose of your job, not the task.

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