Are you working for a toxic boss who is always demeaning you and your work? This article will give you 11 helpful tips and suggestions on what to do when your boss makes you feel incompetent.
Sometimes you can get trapped in a bad situation at work. I’ve been there and I’m sure there are many out there who, at one time or another, have worked for a boss who isn’t looking out for your best interests. You are probably wondering how to deal with a toxic boss.
It could be that there are signs your boss is threatened by you but, then again, maybe he just has it out for you. One of the signs your boss is leaving the company could be that he starts treating you with disdain and doesn’t seem to care about your future at the company. Either way, it can be an extremely demotivating experience especially when you know you are trying as hard as you can to do your job to the best of your ability.
You’re also trying to be the best colleague you can be to your coworkers but your toxic boss is sucking the life out of you. You also quickly learn how to call out of work with text if you need a day off so you don’t even have to talk to him on the phone.
Your boss even goes as far as trying to make you feel like you are not worthy of being employed by the company. So what can you do to make your situation better?
When Your Boss Makes You Feel Incompetent – What You Can Do
1. Try to Understand Where it’s Coming From
Set up a meeting with your boss. Ask him why he is treating you as a second-class citizen but approach it diplomatically.
Maybe it’s possible that he is unaware of his actions but, then again, he is probably well aware of how he is treating you. Get some particulars from your boss on what you can do to make working for him better.
2. Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Once your boss has come clean on what is bothering him, take full responsibility for your actions but only if there is a reason to do so. If his concerns are unfounded, stick to your guns and explain to him why you behaved as you did.
If you take responsibility for something that you said or did that you felt was the proper course of action, he will think that you are just trying to appease him.
3. Lean on Your Coworkers
Seek advice and counsel from coworkers that you can trust. Ask them to take note of how your manager acts toward you, especially in a group setting. They may be able to identify something that you aren’t seeing, from their perspective.
It could be that you are making too much out of the issue and it could be that they will back you up on the actions of your boss. If you do end up talking to Human Resources maybe your coworkers would be willing to speak on your behalf which should help your case.
4. Admit to Your Faults but Work to Improve
Let’s face it, everybody makes mistakes. If you can identify what is causing your boss to treat you this way, you could admit to your mistakes and vow to perform better in the future. Maybe this is all your toxic boss has been looking for from you.
5. Reach Out to Other Managers
Reaching out to other managers could be a tricky situation. It’s possible that the manager you speak with is a close confidant of your boss. This could just escalate the situation.
Seek out a manager who isn’t too close to your boss and get their opinion on how to handle your situation. It could be very enlightening and helpful.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
There is no need to beat yourself up if your boss is making you feel incompetent. Try to maintain a positive attitude and do your best. The better you treat yourself the easier it will be to deal with this situation and take control of it.
7. Use Criticism as Your Motivation
Sometimes it takes criticism from a higher-up to motivate someone to do better. If the criticism is justified, take it to heart and make some changes. It will show your boss that you are willing to listen and grow based on the feedback you’ve received.
8. Visualize a Better Future
You know that this issue with your boss is a short-term one. You will either resolve it with him directly or look for another, more positive opportunity. Visualize yourself in a better situation and you’ll definitely get there in short order.
9. There Always is H/R
In the back of your mind, you always knew that going to Human Resources (H/R) to try to resolve this issue was a distinct possibility. You’ve exhausted other avenues up to this point and you think your only option if you want to remain in your current position is to speak with H/R.
It’s possible that H/R personnel could speak to your boss after speaking with you or they could call a meeting between you and your boss while the H/R representative would be the mediator.
This meeting could resolve the issue between you and your boss and, at a minimum, it would show that you care about your situation and want to resolve it as soon as possible.
10. Look for Other Opportunities In-House
If you don’t think you can resolve the issues between you and your boss you can always look for other opportunities at your company. Look for in-house job postings and take note of who is the hiring manager. Ask around about that manager before even applying for the position.
11. Look for Other Opportunities at Another Company
As a last resort, you could always start looking for opportunities at another company. Sometimes a clean break is all that you need to make a fresh start.
This may have always been on your radar but you were hoping a resolution would come at your existing company. You’ve certainly tried but you’ve come to the realization that you simply had no other option.
When Your Boss Makes You Feel Incompetent – A Summary
If you are stuck in a bad situation at your current job with a boss that makes you feel incompetent, you have some options. You can keep your head up and treat yourself with compassion. Ask for help from coworkers, speak to other managers about your situation, or visualize a better working future.
You always have the option of asking for help from Human Resources, seeking out other in-house opportunities, or as a last option, looking for a new job with another company.
No matter how you handle the situation, you should take it as a learning experience that will help you grow as an employee.
What to Read Next:
- 19 Signs Coworkers are Intimidated by You
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- 13 Powerful Signs You Got the Job
- 10 Good Reasons for Job Change
- What to Bring on Your First Day of Work – 22 Essential Items
Bob has been blogging for over 20 years and has been an office and cubicle dweller for more than 35 years. He has been featured in numerous online publications such as US News and World Report, Bustle, and Work Awesome (you can read his articles here). He created the popular office website CubicleBliss in January 2011 and rebranded it as WorkspaceBliss in April 2020.
In the office he’s been an IT Manager, Applications Engineer, Systems Analyst, Software Project leader, and Programmer Analyst in his long career. He’s a Certified Microsoft Professional and possesses a Masters of Science degree and two Bachelor of Science degrees, one of those in Informational Technology.
During his career he has worked in the office full-time, as a hybrid remote worker, and has worked from home permanently.