Not every leader is easy to work with. We’re all human, and sometimes personalities clash or there are hiccups along the way that can make situations tense. Whether your boss is a micromanager, a nitpicker, or too hands-off, he/she might have you on edge, but there are ways to cope. Here are tips on how to deal with a difficult leader professionally:

Maintain Professionalism

Your boss is your boss, so you should never cop an attitude no matter how frustrating he/she can become. Always remember that you’re a professional, and don’t allow your leader’s behavior to bring you down. If your boss truly offends you, calmly talk to another leader or HR about the situation.


Communicating your needs to your leader is the most straightforward way to deal. Everyone has a different working style, so politely communicate yours and how your boss can effectively lead you, but remember to always be respectful. Check your negativity at the door before you approach the conversation.


If you look for negativity, you will find negativity. Another way of dealing with a difficult boss is to focus on his/her positive traits. Even though your boss micromanages you, does he/she bring an unmatched attention to detail in meetings? Remember that! Your boss might be really hands off, but focus on the fact he/she allows you creative freedom when tackling projects. You can’t change your boss, but you can control yourself and your own outlook, so give it a shot!

Move On

If you can’t find a way to deal with your leader, perhaps it’s time to move on to a new opportunity either within your company or a new company entirely. At the end of the day, you are in charge of your career, and if your boss is derailing you, you need to take the reins and move on.

Not every leadership style fits your needs as an employee, but no matter the way you cope, always approach the situation professionally. Your leader and coworkers will have more respect for you, and the chances of a peaceful resolution will be greater.

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