Thriving with a Difficult Manager

In the ideal situation, everyone would have a great manager - both internally and externally. In the real world, we will all have to work for someone we consider a difficult manager. Learn to thrive in these situations.

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Thriving With a Difficult Manager (Internal or External). We all have situations in our lives where we must work with a manager (or customer) who is difficult. These learning resources and reflection questions will help you create a plan.


How to cope with and even thrive under a "bad boss" is a topic that comes up frequently while we are working with contractors. These may be external relationships such as a customer's project team. These many be project related like the PM or Foreman on the project. These may be situational, induced by the stress of growth or other external factors. It may just be a new leader in a new role getting their bearings.

These are four of the best short video resources we have found if you or someone else you know is working for a difficult manager. This is not about excusing the behaviors of a difficult manager or saying that sticking with the company long-term is what is best for you as an individual. This is just about giving you some tools and mental framing that can help. 


Please invest 25 minutes in watching all four. 


Please reflect on and take the time to write out your answers to the following:

  1. What resonated with you the most and why? If any.
  2. On a scale of 0-10, how would you rate your current job satisfaction including career advancement potential and why?
  3. What are the top 3 things that make this person difficult for you personally? Please jot down specific examples for each.
  4. How would your job satisfaction and career advancement opportunities change if this person either changed or you didn't have to work for them any more?
  5. What are the top 3 things this person does really well, if any?
  6. How could some of the tactics and mental framing apply to your current situation, if at all?
  7. Would you be willing to apply these tactics and work on your mental framing every day for the next 90 days and re-evaluate? Why or why not?

Please consider that we are all evolving through our careers and life. That evolution is never linear and often messy. We all deserve some grace. We all owe some grace to others.


Why Working Harder for a Bad Boss Helps You


How to Win with Your Terrible Boss


Expanding your Circle of Influence Under a Difficult Boss 

Summary video about Circle of Control and Circle of Influence by Stephen Covey from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People


How to Take Advantage of a Bad Boss

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