A whopping 80% of working Americans have some kind of conflict with the boss, but in a bad economy they can’t afford to quit their jobs. How can you deal with them? Take a little advice from Pat King, author of Never Work for a Jerk!
The New York management consultant says it’s possible to get along with any supervisor if you follow her tips. Below, she lists seven types of jerky bosses and ways of dealing with them.
1. THE IGNORAMUS
He doesn’t know what he’s doing so he makes terrible decisions. If you work for him, make sure instructions and goals are clear and in writing, if possible. Meet regularly with this guy to discuss things. When you ask for information, explain why you need to know it. Try to educate him – and try to find something in him to respect so you feel less frustrated.
2. THE EVIL BOSS
This guy will lie, cheat and steal. To work for him you have to assess your options and then try to deal with him without playing by his rules. You’ll feel better if you make an attempt to influence him on moral issues – and if you feel he is really wrong, stand up to him as much as you can.
Remember, if you’re fired, you can tell others about his shenanigans, so you aren’t altogether powerless. Document everything with this guy and try not to overreact to suspicions before you have proof.
3. THE DICTATOR
This man wants to control everything, but don’t let him tyranize you. Choose your battles carefully and then stand your ground firmly and calmly and do your job. Focus on mutual goals, be friendly and straight-forward and ask questions instead of delivering ultimatums. Consistently resist this boss’s threats, because if you give in some of the time they will never stop.
4. THE WEAKLING
He hides his head, avoids making decisions, caves in when things get tough. Deal with this guy by putting everything in writing, presenting him only with major issues and keeping a list of questions for the rare times when you can actually nab him.
5. THE TIGHTWAD
Getting a decent salary out of him is difficult. To do it, learn as much as you can about your company’s pay policies. Call attention to your good work and make sure it gets on your evaluation form. Ask for a raise and be ready to say why you deserve it, no matter how dim your chances seem. If you’re denied, ask what other kind of compensation you can get.
6. THE EGOMANIAC
Selectively ignore this guy when he makes stupid or impossible demands because he mey well never notice when you don’t follow through. Otherwise, treat him very carefully and get expert support to back up your suggestions. Always be specific and concrete when you discuss issues with this boss.
7. MR. NICE GUY
He wants to be liked, but keep your distance to maintain a secure position on the job. Learn how to disagree with him without making him feel bad. Direct conversations to work topics, not personal issues. Don’t become dependent on this social-worker boss – handle your own work responsibilities.