How To Handle 4 Most Common Types Of Difficult Boss in Nigeria

how to handle a difficult boss

I know you might have come across this kind of post times without number but i bet most of what you’ve read has little or no specificity with Nigerian terrain which is why i deem it fit to write about what we can all relate with. Someone once said “It is easier to tame 10 lions than to control one human being” human are the most difficult being on earth to control, for the strongest animals they can always be subjugated, reason not far-fetched, humans are logical in their reasoning, we have the ability to develop an argument, follow a line of logic, draw conclusions and frame hypotheses which is quite remarkable.

So let’s go a bit philosophical here now, Humans are difficult being, they don’t like being controlled, employees and bosses are human being, every employee is also a potential boss, therefore any boss can be difficult.Without any sentiment every employee has the tendency of being a knotty boss. At one point or the other you might have had bosses who are difficult to deal with. Bosses who are inconsistent or unprofessional, or professionally fractious, bosses who put you in a no-win situation, backstabbing bosses, or bosses who are downright bullies.

Dealing with these kind of bosses in Nigeria might pose a little challenge, especially where our labour laws are not really implemented. I would mention four types of difficult bosses in Nigeria and how you can deal with them.

The Despot

The despot rules with an iron fist. this type of boss don’t take things lightly at all with his/her subordinates. His/her decision is final (and who cares about your opinion) Things must of a surety be done their way. The despot jumps on and kills any ideas or decisions that weren’t their own or doesn’t go down well with them. Bosses like this usually have an ego issue, sometimes it might be difficult for you to really fathom this habit in them, although some seldomly ask for your ideas but not with the intention of implementing them.

How to handle?

The despot is well practiced in confrontation (and probably loves it). So open hostility is not advised, don’t try to confront them, as you’ll probably lose. I find the best way to deal with a despot is to ask questions, rather than provide ideas. Questions allow the despot to remain in control as it’s their choice as to what happens next. Any statement – whether it’s an idea, or an answer, or statement, or even challenge, can be phrased as a question. Here. Phrases like, What do you think if we do it this way or apply this strategy makes a despot feel his/her authority is still prime.

leaders who don't listen

Rephrased: A boss who doesn’t listen to his employee will eventually be surrounded by sub-ordinates who have nothing to say.

The Micromanagers

The micromanager is a highly edgy person (even if he/she doesn’t appear so on the surface) always afraid of giving up control and therefore wants to be involved in every detail of the subordinates work. This most times is not happy with employees performance and feels the need to closely manage them. All your work must be checked, and all your activities are fed to you with precision. You’re an automaton, plug and play, when you are micro managed you don’t have an idea at all, because you are following a detailed instruction which must be strictly adhere to.

How to handle?

Most times one reason for this behaviour is that your boss can’t let go of their previous job or a bad habit of close monitoring and not believing in employees expertise. Some haven’t learned to delegate yet. This will take time, but you can help them along the way. The solution is to always preempt what your boss wants, before it’s asked for. You’ll know this by learning their expectations, and delivering to them. Although, this won’t happen overnight, as it’s likely that your boss is more experienced and skilled in your job or feels you are not living up to expectation.  Don’t hold out on your boss though and deliberately keep him/her in the dark, as if they find out you’ll be back to square one, or worse.

The Bigot

The bigot has already taken a dislike to you, i have seen a situation where a boss didn’t just like a particular guy (maybe because the guy is dark in complexion – on a lighter mood). In some cases it might be your gender, sexuality, race, creed. Or perhaps it’s because you are not of the same faith. Or it could be something about you that you haven’t even recognized? I think most people know when somebody doesn’t like them for a deep-seated reason. You get a vibe, but can’t always place the source of the dislike. Your boss hasn’t openly said anything to suggest what it is, but the curled lips or rolling eyes say it all. To be frank, the bigotry is your bosses problem, not yours, but you still have to work a way around it.

How to handle?

Firstly, if your boss makes any discriminating actions or statements, you have a case of grievance and this should be followed up with the formal channels. But if the bigotry manifests itself in subtle ways, it’s hard to build a case. Therefore, the solution is breaking through it and get your boss on your side, somehow. It is possible for a human to agree with two opposing ideas or thoughts. It’s known as cognitive dissonance. So it’s possible for your boss to both dislike you, and like you at the same time. An example might be that you’ve found out what your boss likes or hates, then you can work with this to get his or her attention.

The biggest concern of organization

The Abusive Boss

One of the worst thing that can happen to anyone as an employee is to work with a boss that is abusive, why? is because it has negative psychological and emotional impacts on the employees. This kind of boss is spiteful and enjoys abusing people. Verbally, mentally or physically. The behaviour is intolerable and unacceptable, but it’s a pity in Nigeria that most bosses enjoys doing this and still get away with it.

How to handle?

For this kind of bosses it is advisable you make a quick complaint to HR and peradventure you are not getting a satisfactory resolution, it is also advisable you resigned from such workplace. Because in some organizations in Nigeria the HR is not independent, they are at the beck and call of some “Ogas” so it might be very difficult to scale through in such companies. Simple!

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