If you’ve never worked with a workaholic boss before, it can be a huge change from what you are used to. Many managers and supervisors have a way of thinking about work where it can feel like nothing you do is enough. This can leave you feeling stressed and anxious about work.
In some cases it can even feel like your boss is being deliberately difficult which only adds to the pressure. Often, this can also damage your work/life balance, making your usual high standards even more difficult to maintain.
Ultimately, there are as many ways to deal with an overly demanding boss as there are demanding bosses. We’ve picked the 7 most universal of them to help you out.
1. Don’t cave to them.
An important thing to note about demanding bosses is that if you cave in to them and simply do as they ask, their behaviour will continue and get worse.
Ultimately, if you are put in a position where you are asked to do too much work, you need to make it clear to your boss. It is the case that they may not realise that they are putting too much stress and pressure upon you. Caving in to their demands will only make the situation worse.
2. Make their job easier.
One of the most valuable things you can do for a boss that is demanding is to find ways to make their job easier. It’s common that a demanding boss is simply in pursuit of productivity and would welcome any idea that can help with this.
So why not do some research into tools that can help them? Technologies like time trackers and online employee roster planning software can make a huge difference to businesses.
Consider what might be helpful at yours and bring those suggestions to your boss. Not only can this help you build a better working relationship with them—it can improve working practices at the company.
3. Align your expectations with theirs.
It is often the case that managers and employees can become confused about what the other is expecting from their work.
Typically this can lead to a deadline being missed or a piece of work being completed incorrectly from a manager’s perspective—which means they take it out on their employees. Whereas from the employee’s perspective, they have done what was asked and put hard work in only to be criticised.
It’s important, then, to ensure that your expectations are aligned with your manager’s. When you are discussing a project, make sure that you have documented evidence of their exact requests—if they ask you to do something additionally ad hoc, get them to send it over by email.
4. Don’t let them affect your work.
It’s important that you don’t let a demanding boss affect you and your work. You shouldn’t take their criticism personally—it’s likely that they simply have a different way of working from yours and are just trying to get more out of you or motivate you.
Remember that you need to stay on good terms with your employers and managers so it’s always best to keep a high standard of work but take steps to deal with the issues.
5. Remind them of your previous successes.
Your boss should be keeping track of your successes, but there are those that do not or are simply busy with other tasks. That’s why it’s important that you should remind your boss of your successes – when they are told of what you have done well they are more likely to praise you and appreciate you.
6. Adopt their perspective.
Always remember that if your manager is being demanding, there is probably an underlying reason for it. Maybe they have a superior putting pressure on them to meet targets or perhaps they are facing deadlines that you aren’t aware of – in any case, it’s usually the case that there is a reason that they are putting pressure on you.
7. Be honest: is it just a demanding boss or a bully?
It is important to consider whether your boss is being demanding as a way of encouraging productivity, or whether they are simply bullying. Bullying in the workplace is common and can be difficult to notice when it is your superior.
The next time your boss makes a demand of you, take a step back and ask yourself whether what they are asking is reasonable or whether they are being deliberately malicious.
If it is the case that bullying is taking place in the form of an overworking or micromanagement, it is important to deal with it as soon as possible. Gather evidence of this workplace bullying so that it can eventually be taken to a superior. But it’s also worth talking to your boss first—it may be the case that they don’t realise that their behaviour is bullying. Talking to them about it can make them change their ways.
Struggling with an overly demanding boss? Maybe it’s a sign you should quit your job right now. What do you think?