Dealing with a difficult manager

Bedeviled by a real-life boss from hell?

Dealing with a difficult manager

Although most bosses dont dress in designer outfits like the villain in the recently released blockbuster movie 'Devil Wears Prada', most people will deal with a difficult manager at some point in their career.

A recent survey by OfficeTeam identified three key types of bad managers. Before you decide to give up and start looking for a new job because of a challenging boss, it is a good idea to work out the reasons for their behaviour, and whether there is any way to improve the working relationship.

The box-of-chocolates boss:

This type of boss is unpredictable in his or her behaviour, and you never know what sort of reaction youre going to get. This manager can be friendly and helpful one minute, and demanding and cold the next. The best way to deal with this persons bad behaviour is not to take it personally. It is important to remain calm, and try to limit communication to e-mail, if possible. Try to ease this persons stress level, as it may be causing the mood swings.

The bully boss:

The bully boss tends to be overbearing, gruff and inflexible. The best way to deal with this manager is to stand up for yourself and present your case coolly but confidently. Explain the rationale for your decisions and anticipate his or her questions so that youre prepared to argue your stance. This type of boss tends to relent after hearing the voice of reason. Also, this type of managers behaviour may improve once he or she understands that you are up to the challenge of working together.

The micromanager boss:

This type of boss wants to know every detail, has a difficult time delegating tasks and may not give you challenging assignments. The best way to cope with this manager is to first ask yourself whether youve done anything to undermine his or her confidence. Clearly, this person doesnt trust you to do the job correctly, so you must try to build his or her trust. By providing project updates on a regular basis, your manager will gain confidence in your abilities and display less controlling behaviour.

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