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How to Work with a Tough Boss as a UX Designer?

how to tips Dec 02, 2022
Tough Boss UX Designer

Have you ever had to work with a tough boss and weren’t sure how to manage it? If so, you are not alone and have come to the right place for help. Working with a tough boss as a UX designer can be intimidating and ultimately have a profound impact on your work life if you are unsure of how to cope with it. So how do you successfully work with a tough boss as a UX designer? What seems to be the number one challenge? 

According to a recent Harris Poll, roughly 91% of employees report communication as the number one challenge when working with a tough boss. Communication skills are crucial in every type of career field and with everyone you work with from client to boss. 

If you are ready to learn how to navigate those common communication pitfalls read on!


5 Tips on How to Work with a Tough Boss as a UX Designer

 1. Developing Empathy and Letting Go

It can be quite difficult when you have an interaction with your tough boss that leaves you feeling personally attacked. However, it may have nothing to do with you and the other person could be having a bad day. Try putting yourself in their shoes to see what might be causing them to react the way they are. It is never okay for someone to treat you poorly, but understanding what is causing them to act negatively towards you can help you to cultivate empathy. 

If this is a one-time incident, then it may be best to forgive and let go. We can’t control others, only our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. 


2. Active Listening Skills

Communication is key when working as a UX designer, especially if you are working with a tough boss. Using active listening skills is essential to navigating communication errors and producing quality work. Listen to what is being said and implied when interacting with your boss, and you may just find the answers you need. As a UX designer, it is important to keep in mind that you and your boss both have the same goal which is to produce an amazing product. 


3. Setting Clear Expectations

Another tip that is helpful for navigating communication challenges as a UX designer is setting clear expectations from the beginning to make sure everyone is on the same page.

What sorts of questions should you ask to clarify expectations?

  • How does your boss like to communicate?
  • What will the design and editing process look like?
  • How do they determine progress?
  • What are the goals for this project?

Asking these questions from the beginning of your working relationship can help determine the roadmap for clearer communication. 


4. Looking at Your Own Communication Habits

Communication goes both ways in relationships which means we sometimes need to look at our own communication habits. Ask yourself if you are being clear and direct when communicating. Are you expecting your boss to read your mind? Do you need to set some personal boundaries?

None of us are perfect and sometimes we make mistakes when communicating. We can have a healthier relationship by sharing responsibility, taking ownership, and learning from one another.


5. Coping with Feedback

Receiving negative feedback from your tough boss is never easy in the UX design field. Learning how to receive feedback of any kind is helpful to your growth and development as a UX designer. Here are some additional ways to cope with negative feedback:

  • Ask clarifying questions and practice active listening to fully understand what is being said
  • Thank them for their feedback, make adjustments, and circle back if necessary
  • Receive feedback with a growth mindset

Avocademy is a UX Bootcamp that teaches UX/UI Design and helps its students find jobs. In addition, Career Jumpstart graduates have access to Avocademy’s Slack Channel ‘UX Avocados’ in which they obtain additional tips in the multiple forums that are available. 


Go Forth and Conquer 

Working with a tough boss as a UX designer can be difficult but it doesn’t have to be if you have the tools necessary to navigate common communication pitfalls. These tips can help you to feel more confident when it comes to addressing negative feedback, difficult conversations, and opposing viewpoints. 


Ready to Get Started? Schedule a Free UX Mentorship Session!

At Avocademy, we help students decide if UX design is right for them. Schedule a call with us to start your UX career journey today.  



Meggen is a SEO content writer who loves hiking, drinking coffee, and traveling. She loves her avocados on toast with egg and bacon. 

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