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How to Respond to a Bad Leader

A bad leader screaming with mouth wide open

At one point or another in your life, you will experience working with or for a bad leader. Unfortunately, there are plenty of them out there.

How you choose to respond to those individuals is extremely important because it can completely define how that relationship will impact your career, reputation or standing in an organization. Here are some some helpful tips and things to keep in mind when dealing with a bad leader.

Keep your cool when working for a bad leader

A bad leader can push your buttons, frustrate you to know end and make you miserable, if you let them. When you find yourself becoming angry because of that email, meeting, phone call you just had to deal with, remember something, you getting angry solves nothing. In fact, it often will become counter productive.

Anger can be an addictive feeling if you let it, before you know it, your whole day is shot. It also usually isn't a good look for you.

Unfortunately, even if completely justified, when you get angry at your leader and share it with others, it usually reflects poorly on you, not them. Take a breath, remember what you aspiring to be, a good leader.

Don't sink to their level

It is incredibly easy to get sucked into acting just like your bad leader. Sure, it feels great when you get the small opportunities to stick it to them but what are you really accomplishing? You feel good for about 4 seconds and then you go about your day with nothing changed.

Plus, if other's witnessed that random act of rebellion, or choice phrase, it makes you look petty. Good leaders rise above bad leaders not sink to their level.

Remember they are a human being, just like you

Are you perfect? No. Neither is your bad leader. That doesn't mean we should excuse poor performance or bad leadership but remembering that they are an imperfect human in moments of stress and anger can be helpful.

Depending on how well you know your leader, you never know what that person might be dealing with. Don't be quick to judge them, we all have our struggles. It is extremely easy to find fault in your leaders if that's all you are looking for.

Learn from them

If you take nothing else from this article, take this lesson. You can learn just as much, if not more, from bad leaders as you can good leaders. Observe what they do that bothers you and your co-workers.

Take note of the the poor habits and the areas of opportunity and remember them. If and when you find yourself having the privilege of their position, remember all of those lessons and be sure not to repeat them.

It's easy to point out their shortcomings but remember the lessons well or you might find your people feeling the same way about you one day.

What experiences have you had with bad leaders in the past? What have you learned from them? Tell us in the comments below!

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