Three Ways to Respond to an Overly Critical Boss

It’s a funny thing about bosses. You may not appreciate a good one until they’re gone. Then when you have a new, overly critical one you’re immediately searching for the nearest exit door and longing for that former boss.

Well, there are a few ways to handle these types of hyper-critical bosses. For starters, as pointed out by Annie Fisher, “Ask Annie” columnist for Fortune, it’s important to not take it personally.

1. Don’t take anything personally. It’s not you, it’s him or her. Seriously.

Keep your stress levels at a minimum by reminding yourself other people who have worked for the same boss probably experienced the same criticism. Fisher writes, “You’ll be much less stressed if you can keep some emotional distance. Practice reminding yourself that this is just the way he is.”

2. Never respond to rants. Take a deep breath and take the higher road. Some perfectionists may purposely stir the pot to get you to respond but instead, choose to walk away. Don’t go on the defense to further ignite the fire and instead, stay calm and focused.

3. Get positive feedback from others. Keep in mind there are several additional ways to handle this situation, we’re merely giving you a succinct snapshot with another tip such as seeking positive feedback elsewhere. Let’s face it: No matter how hard you work for this boss, you’ll probably end up falling flat each and every time in the eyes of your supervisor. That can certainly deflate one’s energy and effort but, as per the piece says, dealing with this situation in isolation could destroy self-confidence.

The recommendation? Find a mentor whether he or she is inside or outside your company (or both), and get constructive criticism that you’re not currently receiving. Also, it’s important to find someone to vent to. If your other colleagues are in the same boat, you can simply vent as a way to cope.