How to handle an intimidating boss
The inner game Settle into a reflective state of mind, setting aside some time to think this through.
Take some deep breaths, and open your mind to think about different possibilities.
Think first about the actual aspects of this individual that give you anxiety.
Be specific: “The way she talks” doesn’t give much insight, but “she talks over me” can give you options for setting ground rules.
Making a spectacle of me..undermined me and tried to make others 'do things for me'- railroading me at every turn. In a laboratory setting, the 'lecturer' zoned in on me, watched me and every move i made..shouted accross the class at me & was generally intimidating and overbearing and bullying.
The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to have a plan of action in place.
But sometimes she's fine, but we always feel like we are walking into a trap." The key is to anticipate the boss's bad behavior. If the boss behaves badly, put your plan into action. You likely know the difficult boss's pattern of bad behavior, so anticipate and prepare your responses beforehand. Follow proper procedures for registering complaints with Human Resources, or higher-level superiors.
If the boss is on his/her best behavior, reinforce the good behavior ("Nice meeting." "Thanks! Be proactive by approaching the situation with a positive mental attitude. If your boss is a bully, this will show that you are not intimidated by the bullying behavior. Write them on index cards, and practice delivering them. Maintain a calm and professional demeanor in dealing with your difficult boss, and don't get into a shouting match or let your emotions get out of hand. It isn't likely that your difficult boss situation will change overnight, so be prepared for the long haul.
Is it truly her fault, or could it be something out of her control?
..the rules are totally out of control, try to figure out your boss’ motivation.
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"Boss, when you do that, it isn't motivating me..." or "..only makes us feel like you don't value our work..." or stronger statements, such as "That kind of behavior is unacceptable." You also should anticipate the bad boss's comeback, and have your response or action plan in place. Don't resort to name-calling or rumor-mongering, but be straightforward and professional. Moreover, be persistent in calling out your boss's bad behavior, and putting your plan into action.