We have heard it a million times, "My boss isn't fair," "My boss doesn't know how to manage a team," "My boss is very controlling." The li
t goes on and on. You might be one of the lucky ones who has an amazing relationship with your boss, but more often than not, if you are looking for a job, the man/woman up top is frequently the reason.
Your relationship with your manager weighs heavily on your ability to succeed in your career. If you need guidance or a mentor, who would you like to be your go-to person? If you want a raise or a promotion, who is in charge of making the decision? Here are five types of bosses we frequently hear about from job seekers at Laufer and Associates, and ways to help you maintain or begin a mutually beneficial and harmonious relationship with your boss.
My boss is unreasonable…
This is the type of boss that expects you to do ten more things as you are about to walk out the door, after already having stayed at work an extra hour. If you don't abide, you risk being reprimanded for your lack of dedication.
Track your work/production activity for a few weeks in preparation for a sit-down with your boss. When you meet with your boss, find out what his or her expectations are. Together, make a list of performance objectives. If there is too much on your plate, suggest an alternative that is mutually beneficial. If there are gaps that you know can be filled, ask if the expectations can be altered. Most importantly, keep an open mind.
My boss is a micromanager…
This boss is the kind that has to have his or her hands in all of your work. No matter how trustworthy or hard-working you prove to be, they still have to know everything that is going on and always get the final say.
Take it step-by-step and little-by-little. It can be difficult to get someone who is used to knowing everything to give you some space. The key to your success in working with a boss who micromanages is providing assurance. In the most respectful way possible, ask your boss if you can take full responsibility for a few of your smaller tasks. Assure your boss that if any complications or questions arise, that you will come to them with plenty of time to spare. Your success heavily relies on your ability to be reliable and dependable in this situation.
My boss is wishy-washy…
Having a boss that does not know how to make decisions can be difficult and greatly affect your work. This type of boss has trouble articulating objectives, never meets deadlines and does not give you feedback. A boss or manager's responsibility is to help you grow as an employee, not hold you back.
You almost have to force decisions out of this kind of boss. Present your boss with options and clarify which option you think is correct. Ask them, "Do you agree with this option?" If they do not agree, this will give them the opportunity to explain their choice. If they do agree, then you can move forward. Either way, you will get some kind of answer. Another important point is to be sure to communicate deadlines. If there is a deadline, an action needs to be made.
My boss is a bully…
This is, hands down, the worst type of boss. No matter what you do, you are wrong or in trouble. They make it difficult to concentrate on your work because you never know what they are going to say or ask you to do.
Determine if keeping your job is the best option. If you feel comfortable, have a conversation with your manager. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can try speaking with upper management or someone in HR. If all else fails, you need to take these questions into consideration: Do you gain anything by staying in your position? Do you have ways to cope with being bullied that will make work tolerable? Is your boss making your life at work and even outside of work miserable? Leaving your job might be the best answer.
Working with a difficult boss is something most people deal with at some point in their life. You can try your luck by using some of our suggestions to see if you can make a change in your relationship with your boss. Or, if you need further assistance, we're always here to help!