By Robert Half International
Yes, in cases of true ineptitude or incompatibility, it might be best to seek employment elsewhere. But in many others, learning to make the best of the predicament can be the smartest move. Whether your manager is inconsistent, authoritarian or simply doesn’t mesh with your personality or work style, the characteristics that make him hard to work with are often the ones that can teach you the most.
Here are five valuable skills you can learn from having a difficult boss:
1. What not to do: Modeling yourself after someone you admire is useful, but there’s nothing like a front-row seat on unproductive behavior to help you crystallize your own professional values and style.
Learning what not to do is especially helpful if you currently manage others or hope to do so in the future. Taking note of the effects of the behavior on staff can yield leadership lessons more memorable than any business school could provide.
2. Self-reliance: A manager who doesn’t always provide you with adequate resources or direction can force you to become more resourceful and assertive. You may need to learn to gather the information or support you require from others or figure out how to move forward with a project when details are fuzzy.
Similarly, a boss who doesn’t adequately recognize or appreciate your efforts can lead you to develop your own sense of the value of your contributions. The result can be a sturdier sense of satisfaction and confidence.