Adams & Garth Blog

Help! My Boss is Passive Aggressive & Killing My Motivation

July 17th, 2012

“How did he get to be a manager?!”

This is the thought that passes through your mind at least once a day after dealing with your passive aggressive boss. He doesn’t seem to work well with anyone; has a knack for putting employees down in subtle, yet nasty ways; and certainly doesn’t command respect. The problem, of course, is that he’s still your boss…and can have a big impact on your job and your career.

As one of the top Lynchburg employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows that having a passive aggressive boss can kill your motivation and your effectiveness at work. So what are the signs that your boss is, in fact, passive aggressive – and how can you deal?

The Signs

Some examples of passive aggressive behavior include:

  • Your boss regularly calls you into hour-long meetings two minutes before you’re supposed to leave.
  • You send emails to your boss that always get ignored; then your boss yells at you for being uncommunicative.
  • Your boss is always expressing envy or resentment towards others he perceives as more fortunate.
  • The team has distinct divisions – the haves (i.e. the favorites) and the have-nots.
  • Your boss complains about the performance of certain employees…but never to the employee in question, always to others.
  • Your boss restricts access to the information or resources you need to do your job.
  • You have no idea where you stand with your boss and often wonder if you’ll have a job the next day.

How to Deal

  • Before pointing the finger of blame, make sure you’re not doing something to trigger certain behaviors by your boss. To do so, ask a co-worker you trust about the boss, your own behavior, and what his or her thoughts are.
  • Regardless of how unprofessional your boss gets, stay above the fray. Always be respectful and if you can’t, then remove yourself from the situation until you’ve cooled down. That said, don’t let your boss walk all over you. You need to defend yourself if things go too far.
  • Don’t take the behavior personally. Passive aggressiveness is likely a part of your boss’s nature; not something you’re causing. So really, you should have pity on your boss, rather than taking it personally.
  • Force your boss to set expectations. If you feel like you never know where you stand or what expectations you need to meet, have a meeting with your boss to get clarifications. Have specific questions ready to go and then send a follow-up email to reiterate what was discussed (so it’s in writing).
  • Get another job. If you’ve done all you can and still can’t stay productive and motivated due to your passive aggressive boss, then it may be time to starting searching for new jobs in Lynchburg.

Need Help Finding a New Job?

Adams & Garth is a great place to start! As one of the top Lynchburg employment agencies, we partner with leading employers throughout Lynchburg – and Central Virginia – to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact Adams & Garth today if you’d like expert help in your job search.