MN Business Tip Of The Day: Managing The Boss From Hell

February 27, 2014  |  

Let’s face it, you can’t pick your boss. And if you could you might not choose the one you have. If that’s the unfortunate case, then going in to work every day may be similar to picking your way through a minefield. Whether the person you work for is a micromanager, has anger management problems, or just isn’t very competent you’ll still have to make the best of the situation and get the job done. Try these four tips to stay out of the line of fire:

Identify your boss’ motivation. Understanding why your boss does what she does or cares about certain things can give you invaluable insight. Maybe your boss doesn’t care so much about how long your lunch break takes, but is concerned with how it looks to superiors. Understanding will go a long way toward making sense of your boss’ rules and moods.

Don’t let it affect your work. You want to stay on good terms with other leaders in the company. Don’t try to even the score with misguided retribution. This type of behavior will only put you further behind in your workload and give your boss a better chance of building a case against you to push you out the door.

Stay one step ahead. Particularly when dealing with a micromanager, you’ll want to be sure and head off your boss’ requests by anticipating them and getting things done before they reach you. After replying, “I actually already left a draft of that on your desk for your review,” enough times, you’ll stand a chance of minimizing the excessive reminders. He will realize that you have your responsibilities on track and that he doesn’t need to watch your every move.

Document everything. When he asks for something, get it in writing. Create a paper trail of all requests as well as everything you produce. If your boss handles things verbally, follow up with an email that outlines the discussion, ostensibly “to ensure you’ve heard everything correctly.” Be prepared to pull out proof if your boss or his superiors question your outputs.

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