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How to deal with a difficult boss
Five bad boss types – how does your boss stack up?
The Micromanager– this is the boss who asks that you report to them when you breathe. Micromanagers are known for standing over your shoulder and dictating exactly how a task should be done, how an email should be written and monitoring your progress every five minutes to ensure everything is executed to a T.
The “Super”-visor- you’ll know if you’ve ever worked with this type – they’d be impossible to miss. This is the type of manager that has an overinflated sense of self and everything is about them. From stopping the entire team’s working day to talk about their weekend, to having the IT department drop their projects to jailbreak their new iPhone, there’s nothing that this supervisor won’t do to make sure they stay “super”.
a study showed that managers had more clinically consistent “psychopathic” tendencies compared with the rest of the population.
The Dictator– this is the boss that rules with an iron fist. Their team is perfectly disciplined and always delivers on time, primarily out of sheer terror that they’ll be given the sack if they don’t (likely because it’s already happened). While some level of order and control is healthy, like the micro manager, this type of environment is likely to stifle creativity and ultimately there’s only so much fear that quality employees are willing to take before they start looking for something else.
The Boss who’s just 'One of the Gang'– this is the boss who spends more of their time getting their team to like them than they do actually managing them. From an employee side, this may seem like fun at first – chances are they’ll be less demanding and you’ll be much more likely to knock off early for after work drinks. But the boss who’s your friend can become difficult to work for; the team as a whole can lack focus, which can ultimately result in a lack of motivation and direction and can limit career growth.
The Office Psychopath– a study published in the Boston Globe and reported in the Sydney Morning Herald showed that managers had more clinically consistent “psychopathic” tendencies compared with the rest of the population. Being able to think strategically and work well with others are traits that make for a successful manager, but they’re also the skills of the office psychopath who can manipulate their staff into a false sense of security.
How do you handle a difficult boss?
A bad boss can have a far-reaching negative impact on a business, affecting not only their direct reports, but infecting other departments as well.
Identifying the category of 'bad bosses' that person falls into can help you tailor an approach to try and manage the situation.