There are some real horror stories about bully bosses who have continually abused their employees. Not many situations can be as depressing as having to go to a job each day expecting to be abused. Such abuse can change a person, not just their attitude toward work, but their whole perspective on life in general. Here are 7 tips to help neutralize the tactics of a bully boss, and assist you in coming out of the situation intact.

Always Behave Properly

One of the first mistakes many employees make is they stoop to the level of the bully boss. They may yell at the boss, launch insults or generally act in an unprofessional manner. This of course proves to be deadly for them. Remember they are the boss! If you are not fired for acting inappropriately, there will be negative consequences. For your own good don’t stoop, and always behave according to proper workplace etiquette, without exception.

Speak With a Respectful Tone

Keep in mind that although the boss may have a long history of being a bully, while you interact with them everyone is listening to your words and tone too. This may seem unfair, but it is a fact. If asked about a particular incident later, others will recollect not only the bully’s tone of voice and words, but yours as well. To protect your job and professional reputation always speak to the boss, bully or not, in a respectful tone.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Dealing with a bully boss can be extremely frustrating, and this is why maintaining a positive attitude is so important. A positive attitude can keep you centered and focused. Think of your positive attitude as armor shielding you from the negativity which is being projected by the bully boss. At the beginning of the day find your positive mental and emotional center, remain there no matter what happens, and don’t let the bully get under your skin.

Take Personal Responsibility

In many situations the bully boss is justified for their concerns, goals may not have been reached, and quality of the job may be lacking. Unfortunately they don’t know how to handle resolution properly. Opposing a boss under these circumstances will only escalate the situation because they feel justified. To minimize any further escalation, take a look at the facts and take personal responsibility for any shortcomings, regardless how it is delivered.

Be Firm, Yet Non-aggressive

No employer has the right to treat its employees with in an abusive manner. This includes physical or verbal abuse, borderline or otherwise. Let the bully boss know in a respectful manner how inappropriately they are treating you. Avoid accepting any justification for their actions, and maintain a firm, yet non-aggressive stance that their behavior must change immediately. Being firm often is the tipping point for a bully to stop the abuse.

Remain Detached

One of the main reasons many employees are unable to deal with a boss who is a bully is they take it personally and get emotionally involved. In doing so, they lose their perspective and often act inappropriately themselves. They get personally drawn in to the conflict and are unable to refrain from responding aggressively. To prevent this from occurring to you remain emotionally detached, using your intelligence instead, and only doing what is right.

Keep a Log of Incidents

Under most circumstances it is only a matter of time before a bully boss is discovered, and must face the music of superiors. But in the meantime, if the employees have done everything necessary to promote change it might be time to go over the boss’s head and report them directly to the higher authority. Keeping a log of bullying and abusive incidents which include the dates, times, and actions will help expedite an inquiry or a resolution.
This post was contributed by Andrew G. Rosen, editor of the popular career advice blog and the author of How to Quit Your Job Gracefully. Follow him on Twitter @jobacle.