Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dealing with a Boss Who Drives you Nuts

I wrote yesterday about an Anita Bruzzese blog post titled, "Seven Ways to Deal With the Co-Worker Driving You Nuts". After thinking more about it, I thought some of these tips could apply for working with a boss that may be driving you nuts.

1. Write things down.
Develop a succint list of things to discuss with your manager. Prioritize the list. Not everything is urgent and important and meetings are more valuable with documentation and preparation.

2. Speak to your boss directly
Speaking badly about the boss to everyone else but the manager is not smart. Bend the ear of a mentor inside or outside the office for career advice. Do not make the situation worse by feeding the office rumor mill or adding to water cooler conversations.

3. Ask for change
Some people think it is not possible to ask a boss who is driving them nuts to make changes. It is possible, but the manager is not the only person who has to make changes. One-on-one, career planning meetings or staff evaluations with a boss or manager is a good time to address concerns - not in an accusatory way, but in a professional manner with the department outcomes being the focus.

4. Be honest with your boss
Honesty does not mean putting everything on the table. It means, deciding on the important things that will impact long term career plans. Unfortunately, less than honest communication fosters bad feelings and resentment.

5. Cut to the bottom line
Of course. The goal is to improve your career satisfaction and to create a situation that supports and improves workplace productivity.

6. Fess up
What's your role in this situation? Is there something you are doing that is aggravating this "bad boss behavior"? Honest self evaluation is a requirement for career growth and job satisfaction.

7. Look for solutions
This has to be the ultimate goal. Some workers enjoy complaining about bad bosses and bad companies, but are not serious about finding positive solutions.

Read this post I wrote - "Is Your Boss a Jerk or Just Misunderstood". Sometimes honest discussion can clarify motive.


Anita said...

This is a nice follow-up to my post on annoying co-workers.
This is a much tougher area, of course. It's really important that you examine this issue from all sides, which is why it's good to discuss it with a trusted mentor. And, I also like your suggestion about putting yourself in the boss's shoes and admitting you may be part of the problem.
All in all, I think the key is keeping communication open. That means understanding how the boss likes to communicate (face to face, e-mail, phone, etc.), and then using those opportunities for positive interactions so that you relationship is strong enough to handle the tougher talks.
Really important post.

Marcia said...

Communication is definitely a major factor in the relationship with the boss.

The earlier we address that, the better the relationship will be.

Thanks for the follow up.