Post edited 1:37 pm – June 22, 2012 by Paul
Now available The PracticaL Mentor's Guide On How To Cope With A Difficult Boss
Go to Buy Now
Here is an article I found on Yahoo.com
5 Bad Bosses (and How to Handle Them)
by Amy Levin-Epstein
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The trick with a bad boss
is to learn how to manage up, wresting back control of your career by creating
a more positive work climate. "The key is to understand the motivation
behind your boss's behavior — good, bad or indifferent. Once you understand
that, you'll have clues as to how to deal with him," says Vivian Scott,
author of "Conflict Resolution at Work for Dummies."
Here are five of the most
common boss types you'll encounter — and a few tricks for managing them.
The Vague One
Ravi Kathuria, president
of the Houston consulting firm Cohegic Corp, says that he once worked for a
cagey character who never made his desires clear. "He would say that he
likes to keep things ambiguous for his management team," say Kathuria.
"His belief was, that way, they would develop better solutions." In
real life, however, the strategy was a failure: "It created confusion in
the management ranks. His team never knew where they stood with him."
To focus a flighty leader,
you'll need to pin him down and get details. "If he says, 'I just want us
to be successful,' ask, 'What would success look like?'" suggests Scott.
Ask for as many specifics as possible: how many units you'd need to sell or
what profit target you should hit, for instance, or if the deadline you're
working on will meet his goals.
Don't be shy about
touching base early and often. If your boss is sending you off on a fishing
expedition, at least know what you're supposed to catch.
It can be infuriating to
have someone watching your every move. For your own sanity, never forget what
motivates micromanagers: "They're concerned about their own reputation and
really care about the final product," says Scott.
The best way to manage
micromanagers is to get out from under them occasionally: Navigate your way
onto cross-functional teams, for instance, so you're dealing with other
leaders. Since that's not always possible, Scott also suggests offering your expertise
in an area in which your boss is weak, because he won't feel like he knows more
than you and, if you're lucky, he'll come to see your expertise as a benefit to
him. "Realize you won't get him to stop being a micromanager, but try to
redirect his attention," says Scott.
Still getting the feeling
there are eyes on you at all times? Ask if he's willing to agree on specific
check-in points for a particular project when you will talk about any issues or
concerns. This should make him feel more secure that nothing will slip through
the cracks — and allow you to slip out of his vise-like management grip.
A bullying boss won't
steal your lunch, but may steal any vestige of joy you get out of your job –
which, in turn, will make it hard for you to perform well enough to get a
better offer. One PR specialist from Salt Lake City — we'll call her Gina –
says a former boss made feedback personal.
"She treated everyone
around her like they were stupid or incompetent. She was extremely negative,
rolling her eyes and saying things like 'Oh my God, what a boring idea,'"
Gina recalls. "The assistant account person was scared to death of her,
frequently avoiding asking any questions because she would just insult her. It
made for a terrible work environment."
The first step to beating
a bully is doing good work that you can stand behind, and then standing your
ground. "The bullying boss is very focused on results and wants things
done now," says behavioral analyst Gayle Abbott, CEO of Strategic
Alignment Partners in Virginia, who has worked with companies ranging from law
firms to Lockheed Martin. "Identify what they want, what they value, and
take action. These [types of] people also want you to come to them confident
and tell them the truth — even if they don't like it. Don't give made-up
answers or platitudes."
One way to handle them:
Whenever you're at a turning point, delegate up by giving them a few options;
then let them make the choice. "This works because bullies like to make
their own decisions. They don't want to be dictated to," says Abbott.
Of course, if you're being
personally pummeled, you can always ask if you've done something wrong. A
level-headed yet over-stressed boss may not realize how he sounds. And finally,
if your manager is just a jerk with a capital J, you may need to start
polishing up your resume. Life's too short.
With some managers, it's
all about me, me, me. "They design the processes around themselves. They
network for themselves. They change the rules because they want to," says
Gonzague Dufour, director of executive recruitment and development at Bacardi-Martini
and author of "Managing Your Manager: How to Get Ahead with Any Type of
Boss." While working for a narcissist can be frustrating, they're actually
incredibly easy to figure out and please, says Dufour: "If you're smart,
you're presenting everything from his perspective."
Tell her how your new
software program will save her time; show how your new sales successes will
boost her year-end numbers, or simply ask her how you can help her do her job
better. And use your boss's vanity to your advantage: If you make her look
good, you'll be more valuable to her — and she'll be more inclined to help you
Being buddy-buddy with
your boss isn't necessarily a bad thing: The more your manager likes being
around you, the more likely he is to keep you on his team as he moves up the
corporate ladder. But beware when the friendly small talk turns to personal
gossip. Your new best friend may be using you to spy on other members of the
staff — and if he's talking trash about your colleagues, you can bet your next
paycheck he's also bad-mouthing you behind your back.
The first thing to do is
figure out your manager's motivation. "Some people just want to be
liked," says Abbott. But if you suspect spying or even back-stabbing,
"If you gossip, [your
manager] can use that against you, because [he or she] won't trust you,"
says Abbott. Whenever the conversation turns to, say, who's flirting with the
intern or having problems with their kids, change the topic to something more
benign, like last night's episode of "Mad Men," and leave the drama
Got a bad boss horror
story of your own? Sign in below to comment. Just don't name any names.
Mentor'sGuide On How To Cope With A