Workplace Wisdom

How to Work for a Boss Who Has Unrealistic Expectations

This article originally appeared on hbr.org.

Whether your manager is a front-line supervisor or the CEO, every leader occasionally has unrealistic expectations. But some bosses are unrealistic most of the time. They don’t take into account the facts on the ground, or they habitually refer to their past experiences at other companies rather than to the people and events in the current organization, or perhaps they report to someone who’s even more aggressive or overly optimistic than they are.

When you work for one of these folks, you can feel like you’re being set up to fail. It can be dangerous to defy a superior, and even arguing your point can feel unsafe. You may have relevant data or experience that counters the validity of your boss’s directions, yet there can still be a lot of pressure to comply with every demand.

Instead of just caving in or deciding it’s time to update your resume, try these approaches to gain better balance for yourself and strengthen your relationship with a demanding boss.

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