How much time & energy do we waste dealing with difficult people? Worse when it’s your boss! How difficult is it to stay motivated and do your job well?
Here are five types of bosses you might come across and some tips on how to stay motivated if you work for them.
1. The Micromanager – the control freak
Delegating isn’t in their vocabulary, they prefer to triple check your work, instead of doing their own.
Solution: Gain their trust by doing a test project. Provide them with a detailed report, show that you can take initiative; they can trust you and the work is delivered without their supervision. That hopefully will help with getting the next tasks unassisted.
2. The Credit Taker – the one who takes all the credit for your hard work
This boss who isn’t there when you need them, who disappears when it gets really hard during the project and the same one who reappears upon project completion, just to claim the credit.
Solution: Address it with your boss and ask them next time what you need to do to take the credit for your actions. Chances are they weren’t aware of “stealing your credit”. If they are defensive, you may want to get more visibility across other teams, so your hard work will be noticed outside of the current team.
3. The Ghost – the boss who’s never there
The manager who’s never there for you, who doesn’t give any guidance, any support and potentially just shows up to criticize the final results.
Solution: Clarify with your boss what their expectations are and make sure you know what they want from the next project. Send a follow up email summarising everything discussed. Throughout the project provide regular updates and reports. That should help you to keep track and deliver everything which was expected of you.
4. The Politician – the one who picks favourites and gives them special privileges
The boss who’s still a teenager, gathers their favs to share secrets, gives them special projects and shares gossip with them.
Solution: Instead of trying to break into their circle, prove how good you are. Be proactive, do your job as well as you can, take initiative and remind others why you are a great team member. By helping your team to achieve their goals you will become the key player within the company.
5. The Emailer – non direct communicator
Your boss might be good at their job, but they would do anything to avoid direct conversation. They will use emails to provide feedback and hide behind their written and often misread word, instead of facing you in an open discussion.
Solution: Suggest weekly face to face meetings and suggest them as a way to get more guidance and support on ongoing projects. Don’t be surprised if you need to lead these meetings. Prepare the agenda and have your goals and questions written down. Make sure you ask for feedback and provide yours.
There are probably other types of nightmare bosses. Some may bully you, some may have unexpected emotional issues. Some of them you can learn how to work with, some of them you can’t.
Often it’s your decision to take action and change it. Sometimes it’s not 😉