Created on: February 18, 2013
When most people accept a new job, they often believe they have found the job of their dreams. Unfortunately, an abusive boss can turn the job of dreams into a job of nightmare proportions. Interestingly enough, there are studies that show that female bosses are more likely to be abusive than men which surprises many people who believe that women naturally are more nurturing. Employees must take the steps necessary to deal with an abusive boss not only for the good of their career, but potentially for their mental health.
Abuse takes many forms
One of the first things that an employee must do to deal with an abusive boss is to identity the abuse. Interestingly enough, some abuse may be somewhat subtle. Some types of abuse, such as yelling, physical intimidation or chastising an employee in front of others are fairly simple to identity. Other types, such as sabotaging projects by not allocating resources, spreading gossip and even holding raises back may also be forms of abuse.
Know how to react
It is important for an employee to take charge of any situation where they feel abused. While it may seem untoward to directly react to an abusive boss immediately, it may be the employees best option. Here are some specific instances where instant reaction can be useful to stop abuse.
Unnecessary shouting - When an abusive boss starts screaming at an employee in the middle of the office, simply turning and walking away or quietly asking them to stop may help. It is never helpful to shout back as this is counter-intuitive. Once the screaming has stopped, go to the office of the culprit and let them know in no uncertain terms their behavior is not acceptable. Make a note of the incident, what led up to the incident and the outcome.
Physical intimidation - Any boss has no right to lay a hand on an employee. Period. Should this occur the employee should immediately move way from the abusive boss. Unfortunately, physical intimidation may also involve a threatening look or gesture. These incidents should be recorded and if necessary, reported to the HR division of the company. No employee should have to tolerate physical intimidation.
Snide or demeaning comments - Subtle comment made to an employee can also be abusive. Abusive bosses have a way of making snide remarks and comments that are specifically delivered in a manner to let the employee know they are not happy about something. Employees should use caution as to how these remarks are made, in some cases, it may be the bosses manner and not intended to be abusive. If an employee feels the boss is crossing the line, it is important to let them know in a non-threatening manner.
The EEOC has specific rules about employee harassment. Employees should never have to put up with an abusive boss. Long-term abusive bosses can be detrimental to an employees health. When necessary, employees should consider either filing a complaint with their human resources division or if necessary, going over the bosses head. It is important to keep a clear record of the behavior of an abusive boss since it may be the only way to prove abuse. Unfortunately, the number of abusive bosses may be a lot higher than people think and for employees, this could mean their dream job is a nightmare.
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