Dealing with a Difficult Boss for Medical Billing Career

At some point in your career, you are bound to have a boss that drives you crazy. Dealing with a difficult boss can be frustrating and intimidating. First, let us define the difficult boss. The difficult boss may be overly demanding, unfair, shows favoritism among employees, and is unfairly critical.

When dealing with a difficult boss, ask yourself if they are truly attempting to cause discord or is it possible that there is a misunderstanding, miscommunication issues, or if possibly the boss just lacks good personal skills in dealing with others.  Once you determine the cause of the boss’s behavior, it is easier to determine a solution to it.

Here are some ideas on how to handle the major problems most employees have with a difficult boss.

Dealing with a Difficult Boss for Medical Billing Career

Demanding- This boss expects more than is reasonable. Having a frank discussion with your boss may resolve the issue. When discussing the issue make sure you indicate your desire to help out, do as much as you can, and show a genuine desire to problem solve with the boss to resolve the issue. Maybe hiring some temporary help would offset the problem.

Unfair- A boss who is simply “across the board” unfair in a variety of situations is usually one that takes the “dictator” style of leadership and management. This truly is a difficult person to deal with. However, showing that you are willing to submit to their leadership is always a smart idea. Requesting a meeting with this type of boss and indicating your desire to submit to their leadership is a good first step. Then, outlining what you feel is unfair and requesting of them to reconsider may net a good result. Do not put this type of person on the defensive, but rather express a sincere desire to be a great employee, and that you desire to resolve the issue amicably.

Favoritism- In this situation, you see a boss giving favor to another employee based on their friendship rather than performance. Generally speaking up to the boss regarding this directly is not a good idea. Instead, asking the boss for a meeting, then outlining your skills, contributions, and efforts and asking for a written “career path” from them is a way to assist you in meeting your own career goals objectively through metrics.

Overly Critical- Sometimes when  a manager is under pressure, that pressure rolls down hill to employees. Again, requesting a meeting, outlining your willingness to make the boss happy and requesting specific metrics and negotiating timelines can go a long way with this type of boss.

If low-key adult-like confrontation as outlined above does not work, it may be time to write an objective letter to your department head. However, before doing this, make sure that you have done your part to resolve the issues quietly, amicably, and have given your boss the benefit of the doubt in order to resolve the issues. Your human resources department is there to assist you regarding issues such as conflict with management.  Make you have documented days, times, incidents in detail and objectively for when you approach HR.  You can’t say, “The boss upset me today by being a jerk.”  It is better to say “On Jan 2, 2015, my boss spoke in a loud voice with 3 other employees present calling me an “idiot” because I did not have the reports ready. However, I had completed the other 4 tasks she had given me that day. I did not have the opportunity to explain the situation.”   Resolving issues with the boss one-on-one will always net the best result. However, no one deserves to work in a hostile or upsetting work environment every day.  Be fair. Be mature. Be professional.

By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CPC, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years.  Interested in quality medical billing training

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