Four Surprising Reasons To Be Thankful For Your Bad Boss
By Dr. Noelle Nelson
Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for all that you have — even a bad boss says Dr. Noelle Nelson, psychologist and author of Got a Bad Boss? Work that Boss to Get What You Want at Work (2013, Amazon eBook, $7.99).
“Surprisingly, there is a lot to be thankful for when you have a bad boss,” says Nelson. “Once you decide not to let your boss’ incompetent or immature behavior get the best of you, you can start focusing on how you can work your bad boss to get the most out of your job or career.”
Nelson cites four reasons to be thankful for a bad boss.
1. You are smarter than your bad boss.
All bad bosses, whether they be a “finger pointer boss,” “egomaniacal boss,” “incompetent boss” or other bad boss types, are running scared from something — and either do not know what it is or will not admit to it. “It could be that he craves admiration or fears that people will discover he’s lazy and irresponsible. That’s where you can be smarter than your bad boss,” explains Nelson. ”Knowing what makes a bad boss tick enables you to understand why he acts the way he does. That’s powerful.”
2. By becoming valuable to your bad boss, you can reap the rewards.
“Your bad boss has something he really wants, deep down inside. You can help your boss get what he wants,” says Nelson “A bad boss may have a desperate need for self-worth, or to be seen as brilliant when he really isn’t. If you are the one who helps your boss get his secret desire, your boss begins to rely on you. That puts you in a better position to ask for time off, a raise, more training — whatever you feel you deserve.”
3. Your bad boss forces you to discover your work strengths.
“You have work strengths you don’t even know you have. A bad boss forces you to look deep inside to discover them,” says Nelson. “Even if you’re hypersensitive, a pleaser or super impatient — all those traits can be used to your advantage. A hypersensitive person, for example, is also empathic, compassionate and usually meticulous. Those are all great strengths.”
4. Your bad boss is a shining example of how not to behave in the workplace.
“There’s so much you can learn from observing your bad boss’s behavior: why playing favorites is a dirty game, how blame never solves anything, how ignoring workers’ suggestions or ideas is counterproductive. Practice good workplace behavior by being the opposite of your bad boss. Your experience with a bad boss will prepare you for success in your promotion or next job opportunity,” says Nelson.