How to Deal with a Bully of a Boss

We spend most of our time in the workplace and although we would like to get on with everyone, this is not always possible.

Your first interaction with your boss will most likely to be during the interview process and although they may seem like the nicest person in the world, the mask can soon slip.

If you are feeling the wrath of a bully boss, you shouldn’t need to put up with it.

There are many different types of bullying and it could be that your boss is doing it subtly enough that no-one else has noticed. If you feel that your boss is trying to exclude you, put you down or intimidate you, it is important that you deal with it, rather than letting it adversely affect your mental well-being.

Approaching Your Boss

If you feel that your boss is bullying you in any way, your first step should be to speak to them directly. It may be the case that they don’t even realize they are doing it but if you confront them in the first instance, you might be able to deal with it quickly and professionally.

It is important to remain calm and be able to back up your claims with evidence. For instance, if they have been excluding you from meetings, be prepared to tell your boss when this happened and ask them for an explanation.

They may have a rational reason for it, but it is important that you let them know how it is affecting you.

Confide in a Colleague

If there is someone you trust in your work, it may be worth confiding in them, as they might have suffered in the same way or be able to offer you some advice.

It is important to know that you are not alone in these situations and that someone is there to back you up. You may find that other people have also noticed and this can be useful if you need to make a complaint.

Speak to HR It is highly likely that a bullying boss will be defensive about any claims made against them and may not be willing to take your allegations on board. If this is the case, you might not have any other option than to speak to your HR department, who should be able to offer you advice and support.


The very last resort would be to make a grievance against your boss. It is important to remember that you are there to do your job and you should not need to put up with any bullying.

A grievance should contain specific details about what happened and when. A meeting would be arranged to discuss the grievance and an impartial third party would usually decide how to proceed, based on the evidence.

Your employer has a responsibility to take care of your welfare in the workplace and you should not be subject to any kind of bullying.

This is your right as an employee.

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