How To Handle an Aggressive Manager in 10 Steps

Aggressive managers have a disdain for authority and rules, at least when it’s not coming from them. By contrast, they typically expect other people to respect their authority without question. The rules don’t apply to them, but woe to anyone else who dares to question their judgment or demands.
  1. Perform well. You may be able to limit your interactions with an aggressive manager by performing well. …
  2. Make a connection. …
  3. Speak to your manager. …
  4. Set boundaries. …
  5. Find support. …
  6. Learn about dealing with strong personalities. …
  7. Offer to help. …
  8. Document behavior.

How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Boss

How an aggressive manager affects the workplace

Numerous detrimental effects that an aggressive manager can have on the workplace include:

What are the characteristics of an aggressive manager?

An aggressive manager may exhibit some or all of the following characteristics. Aggression can take many forms at work.

How to handle an aggressive manager

Here are some actions you can take to deal with a combative manager:

1. Perform well

By doing well, you might be able to reduce the number of times you interact with a combative manager. You can avoid additional meetings if you request less feedback and produce high-quality work.

2. Make a connection

Try to establish a more personal connection with your manager. By doing so, you can make them see you as more than just a team member and as someone with a variety of interests and feelings. You might be able to discover a hobby you both like, or you might have kids the same age. Having a conversation with your manager about your personal life can change the dynamic and foster a stronger working relationship.

3. Speak to your manager

Consider being direct with your aggressive manager about how their actions are affecting you if you have one. Set up a meeting with them and prepare your remarks in advance. To feel more assured, you can also practice with a member of your family or a friend. You can bring some suggestions for how to resolve the issue to the meeting, but you should also be willing to collaborate with your boss to come up with a solution that benefits both of you.

Here are some pointers for approaching your manager with a challenging subject:

4. Set boundaries

It’s crucial to establish personal boundaries for yourself that will make you feel safe and at ease at work when dealing with a combative manager. You should clearly express when your manager violates those boundaries. As an illustration, you might inform your manager that they require your permission before entering your office.

5. Find support

Talk to your coworkers about your concerns with your manager. It may be the case that some of them share your sentiments, which will make you feel less alone and more supported at work. You can still be open and honest about your feelings while avoiding gossip. These workers may also validate your feelings if you decide to escalate the situation to higher HR managers.

6. Learn about dealing with strong personalities

Consider reading a book or tuning into a podcast about difficult working relationships if you want advice on navigating a strong or challenging personality. You can gain more knowledge and learn techniques to put into practice to help lower your anxiety and enhance your relationship with your manager.

7. Offer to help

Your manager may be acting aggressively because they are overburdened with work obligations. To help your boss unwind, think about offering to assist with a major project or inviting them out for coffee or happy hour. You can convey to your boss that you value and support them by being a friend and demonstrating compassion.

8. Document behavior

If your boss is consistently aggressive, document the behavior. Include the date, time, people involved and what happened. As soon as you can, write it down so that you can recall important details, such as the precise wording used. Having a record of your manager’s actions can help you address the issue with your boss directly or serve as evidence if you need to raise it further.

9. Report the behavior

Consider reporting your manager to HR if their aggressive behavior consistently interferes with your ability to do your job or maintain your health, or if it transgresses company policy. Follow your company’s policies for filing a formal complaint, and be sure to include all supporting documentation, such as emails, text messages, and records, for each incident.

10. Find a new position or company

It might be time to ask for a transfer or look for a new job if you don’t feel your company supports you or if the atmosphere at work is toxic. Find a position that fosters trust and respect, and put your emotional and mental health first.


What is a passive-aggressive manager?

According to psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, chief innovation officer at ManpowerGroup and professor of business psychology at Columbia University, passive-aggressive behavior from a manager frequently manifests as a boss seeming agreeable and amicable on the surface while letting deeper issues brew below.

How do I report an aggressive manager?

How to Report your Boss.
  1. Go to your boss first. The first step is frequently talking to your boss, though it might not always go as planned.
  2. Document everything. Keep meticulous records of everything your boss does, especially what they say and do at specific times.
  3. Go to HR. …
  4. Seek legal counsel.

How do you deal with a rude manager?

Here are four things you can do to deal with a rude boss:
  1. Ask why. The boss might just be having a bad day, but it’s also possible that he is extremely angry with you.
  2. Be positive. When someone is being rude, the temptation is to respond in kind, but doing so with your boss is not recommended.
  3. Learn and adapt – to a point.

Should I confront passive-aggressive boss?

Try to show them compassion rather than anger as much as you can. Respectfully call the question. Directly confronting a passive-aggressive boss is rife with risk. You’re confronting someone directly who has demonstrated a desire to avoid confrontation and who wields excessive power over your life.

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