We’ve all had them – those bosses we can’t stand. They drive us nuts with their micromanaging, bullying, insecurity, or incompetence.
But there’s good news – all of them can be managed and made bearable with a little effort on your part. This post complements the perspectives in 10 Reasons Your Team Hates You and 9 Valid Reasons for Killing a Coworker (yes, this blog gets edgy at times). Since those put us in countdown mode, allow me to share eight keys to taming a terrible boss.
What I’ll do is lay out the archetypical terrible boss, describe some of their symptoms so you can accurately identify them, then offer a tip for managing them and getting them to make your life a little less miserable.
The boss types I’ll cover are the micromanager, the bully, the incompetent, the politician, the credit-stealer, the know-it-all, the marshmallow, and the loafer. Some bosses exhibit multiple symptoms of the above types so understand you might have to employ several of the following techniques to make your life more bearable. So here they are in no particular order – let’s bring on those bad bosses!
Symptoms: they follow your every move, demand status updates every 38 seconds, and tell you how to perform every single task they’ve assigned you including how to sharpen your pencils and staple a presentation together.
Tip to Tame: don’t avoid them – you’ll make it worse. Instead, proactively inform them of status regularly until they get comfortable with your work. Ask their suggestions on how they want things done before you do them. Once they know they’ll have input and they’ll be in the loop, they should back off (assuming you don’t screw up your deliverables in which case they’ll be in your shorts even worse). You can also take a look at this post for more thoughts on dealing with control freaks.