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I am around 2 years experienced Software Developer in a small company. I have this boss in my company who is in this company since 2001 (that's also his first company).

Now he thinks that the only way to improve any junior is to scold him and hurt his ego. He made me a team lead of 3 people. One of the girl, who was my subordinate was not performing well. She didn't even know how to operate a computer. When I told him about her, he instead of listening to me scold me rudely and said you just don't have the skills to lead people. He also told me that when he was of my age, he had made many people champions in software development, who didn't knew anything about Programming.

He advised me to hurt the ego of my 3 subordinates so that they can also grow in their careers. Meanwhile, sometimes I feel really stressed on being scolded just before going to home. He also scolded my subordinates badly when I was on leave one day and as a result, one of my fresher subordinate was looking to resign and move somewhere else.

I calmed him down and told him that I'll try my best not to make this happen to him again. I told him to ignore the words of our boss since he is just like that. Also, my boss always gets angry on extremely small issues. For example, if he is discussing something with me and I asked him to repeat some statement again, which I don't understand. He gets very angry and says to everyone that even the peon of our company can understand this in the first place.

One day, I told him that my salary is quite low, then he said that people who run after money belongs to the lowest category in his eyes.

My mental state has become very frustrated due to this and I'm generally not an argumentative type of a guy. That's why, When he scolds me, I generally stay silent as I don't want to waste my energy over that moron, who thinks that he knows everything and he is the most intelligent person in the world.

I've started preparing for switching the job. Also, I can't leave the company immediately as I have to feed my family financially. But until then, how can I deal with this boss?

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    How big is the company? How many people are above your boss and are they accessible to you? This sounds like border line workplace harassment and ideally there should be an HR to look into this. – PagMax May 6 at 17:06
  • @PagMax our company consists of around 40 employees. There are only 2 people above my boss in my office, the General Manager and Director. Although they are accessible to me they won't listen to me because of their close friendship with boss. And speaking of HR, he is newly hired recently and he doesn't seem to be a guy who will look into this, because he does what the GM and my boss asks him to do. – TheHungryCoder May 7 at 1:36
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    people who run after money belongs to the lowest category sounds like an excuse to not pay people. This sounds like someone who was put in leadership due to tenure rather than someone who was actually fit for leadership. – MattR May 7 at 12:26
  • @Bebs it's India – TheHungryCoder May 7 at 16:42
  • @DG4, I'm sorry for you my friend, it seems to be allowed in India, since I heard some other similar stories about this kind of bosses. – Bebs May 9 at 6:52
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Ideally, this can turn into a healthy relationship, but the fact you need a job puts you at a huge disadvantage in helping that to happen. The fact that he is a failure as a leader does as well. There are ways of still improving this, but they have some risk. Given your question and primary goal are to survive until you land a better job, I’ll speak to survival.

Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice dog’ while reaching for a stick.

Lay low. This is more about your mentality than his. Build on what you’ve said above. Pick up any leadership book. I’ve never seen one that espouses belittling and berating your subordinates into success. There’s a wide difference between being strong and being a jerk. He doesn’t see that. Once you fully own that belief, his psychological impact on you drops. If you’re lucky, you’ll even reach the point of finding this buffoon comical.

The next step is to practice keeping the smirk inside while looking professional on the outside. Pretend you care. Pretend he matters. Follow his instruction to the degree you can. And try to shield your employees. That is, as Frank Hopkins points out, part of a leader’s job. It will one day become an excellent point in an interview. “Tell me about a difficult time in your career.” “As a leader, my role is to empower my team. Part of that is to shield from distraction. One specific case…”

Also, given your timeline there may not be a lot you can do, but start saving as much money as you can. The less you need this job in the short term, the easier it will be to not care about it.

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With that kind of boss, show him you're a better manager and leave - with your team.

Other than that, part of your job is to shield your team from upside pressure, so they can actually get work done. So you will need to learn to stand up to him if you stay around.

If he gets angry again, tell him that's not professional and you won't work with him like that. Leave his office and tell him you'll be back in an hour so he has time to calm down. Rinse and repeat. And never let him imply it's you who is the problem, he get's emotional and unprofessional, he is the problem.

Note down any confrontation where you think he was over-aggressive and personally attacked you, preferably with witnesses, so if 3rd parties get involved, like HR or the boss of the company or a court, you have factual evidence.

However, mind that speaking louder is not aggressive by itself.

  • 'If he gets angry again, tell him that's not professional and you won't work with him like that.' - Actually I told him this in an indirect way one day that I think these scoldings are developing a negative environment for me. but he said that's how you will improve. Also if I'll tell him that's unprofessional, then he will take this on his ego and will say to me that don't teach me professionalism since you are only 2 years experienced but I am 18+ years experienced. These kinds of incidents have happened several times with me in the past. – TheHungryCoder May 7 at 1:42
  • Well, according to his theory you need to break his ego^^ Indirect never helps with people who are too full of themselves, that's why you need to be clear. If possible get support from others at the same level as you. All experience doesn't matter if he behaves unprofessionally, in fact that makes it obviously a more grave mistake, that you all enable by letting it slip. If none of you stand up to him, this will continue, that's a guarantee. – Frank Hopkins May 7 at 8:30
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    Of course the tone in which you can do this is determined by how easy you can get another job etc. But if you want to change him, he needs to feel some drawback from his behaviour. – Frank Hopkins May 7 at 8:37
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It's time to move on.

One day, I told him that my salary is quite low, then he said that people who run after money belongs to the lowest category in his eyes.

Oh the classic.

He doesn't value you. I honestly hate people who act as if they are doing you a favour employing you, when the reality is they need your skills which is why they've hired you to begin with. It is a two way street, and it is only fair people get paid what they are worth according to the going rate of the market.

He can talk as much as he wants about money, but he is not working for free, and is not running a charity. It is a commercial enterprise to make as much money as possible through the products they are selling, where he is using your skills as a resource to make this happen.

I've started preparing for switching the job. Also, I can't leave the company immediately as I have to feed my family financially. But until then, how can I deal with this boss?

Try to take his negativity in one ear, and out the other. Keep your distance by avoiding office politics and be non confrontational but when needed protect your team by trying to coach your boss on the importance of having high team morale. Use this as motivation to accelerate your job search, and before you accept your next job make sure you do some due diligence - Glassdoor etc.

Leave now before the situation worsens.

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It seems to me that your manager isn't particular patient enough to teach you how to advance in your career to be a manager. I think it's a really unfortunate situation for you to be in. Looking for a new gig is the right choice.

For surviving while you are hunting for a new role. Ever heard of the phrase?

Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions

I really hate this phrase personally, but many managers including yours (from your description) operate this way. They don't really want to hear just about the problems you have, but rather what are your solutions to the problems you find. For example, when you bring up the situation with the employee that doesn't know how to use the computer, talk about the techniques you propose to get her productive and have your manager sign off. Or just do it. Some people just value results more than your methodology

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