How to Expose a Bad Boss

By Summer Wang; Updated July 05, 2017
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angry boss image by Dmitri MIkitenko from Fotolia.com

Many employees have the experience of dealing with a bad boss, someone who lacks necessary knowledge to manage effectively, doesn't give clear instructions on what he needs but blames you for not doing the work correctly, or treats you in unprofessional ways. If you have a boss like this, work life can become miserable. You may want to expose or report your boss, but you are worried that doing so may cost your job.

List what's really bothering you about your boss. You may believe there are 20 different aspects of your boss that drive you crazy, but if you think through her behaviors, you may find out they are all under one major category, such as micromanaging.

Document the details of your boss's behaviors. Once you find out what's bothering you, you can start documenting a list of occasions when your boss says or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Write down as many details as you can remember when things are still fresh in your mind.

Talk to your boss directly. This gives him an opportunity to know you have a problem and try to solve it. Set up a meeting or informal discussion with your boss directly. Make it clear that your goal is to work more efficiently. Give her examples of how she made you feel uncomfortable and how it could be done in another way to help you work better.

Take further action if necessary. If the direct communication with your boss does not go well, meet with your boss's direct supervisor or someone in the human resources department. Keep in hand the detailed documentations and show you have made an effort to solve the problem. Explain your goal is to work more efficiently. Use the examples you used in the meeting with your boss.

Act after the communications. If you notice your boss' behavior has changed for better, indicate the ways of doing things is helpful to you. For instance, you can say that "Thank you for specifying the detailed instructions in your email. It helps me to look for the information you need." If things do not get better after you did what you could do, ask yourself if this certain "bad" behavior of you boss comes from higher management or the company culture in general. If the company culture supports your boss's behavior, you may want to consider looking for a better career opportunity.

Warning

Before you go talk to your boss, consider if there's anything you can do on your part to improve the situation. For example, if you boss always asks you to revise your work, she may be asking because she gives unclear instructions or because you did not follow the instructions carefully. If it is the latter, focus on changing your work habits before trying to confront your boss.

About the Author

Summer Wang started writing professionally in 2010. She has 10 years of experience in accounting & teaching and has researched on diet & fitness, family & parenting, relationships, and travel. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from California State University San Bernardino and a master's degree in accounting from University of California Riverside.