Have a moody boss? Here are six ways to deal with it


You can’t figure out your boss. Sometimes s/he’s chummy and personable; other times s/he belittles you in front of the team. How do you handle a manager who acts like Jekyll and Hyde? Here’s how to cope. 

1 Don’t take it personally:

When a boss known for frequent outbursts starts yelling at you, don’t take it personally. Chances are, it has nothing to do with you.

2 Look for triggers and patterns:

Looking for clues and patterns (Low blood sugar? An impending deadline?) that might reveal the cause of your boss’s temperament changes will help you develop strategies for handling his or her temper.

3 Be thoughtful about your timing:

Once you have an understanding of the underlying causes of the outbursts, you can use that information to thoughtfully plan your interactions with your manager.

4 Stay calm:

If your boss starts screaming or belittling you for reasons you can’t fathom, take a walk around the block, or find a quiet space where you can gather your own emotions. Bring it up with your manager one-on-one later in a private setting.

5 Offer some strategic gratitude:

Deploying a well-timed expression of gratitude can go a long way toward neutralising his or her fury and perceived sense of grievance.

6 Know when to get help and when to move on:

Your boss may ultimately be grateful for feedback on his or her management skills, but it can be difficult to initiate that conversation as a direct report. Your best bet is to bring up the outbursts in a general performance appraisal or report it privately to the human resources department. – Copyright Harvard Business Review


Previously published in The Irish Times.


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