Dealing with horrible bosses is not just a scenario in a movie script, its real life. Robert I. Sutton, in his book, Good Boss, Bad Boss – How to Be the Best. . .and Learn from the Worst, wrote: “Bosses shape how people spend their days and whether they experience joy or despair, perform well or badly, or are healthy or sick. Unfortunately, there are hoards of mediocre and downright rotten bosses out there, and big gaps between the best and the worst.”
These are the most common types of horrible bosses:
1. The Tyrant Boss
This type of boss uses his or her position as a weapon and imposes control in often unreasonable and arbitrary ways. Because tyrants are often deposed, they lead with suspicion and wear their insecurity on their sleeves. One of the most important practices for those who work for tyrant bosses is to stand your ground but disengage from arguments.
2. The Self-Involved Boss
Self-involved bosses always make sure the pedestal they live on is visible to all subordinates. They lead from above and usually spew criticism as their motivational tool. Your best asset in this less than desirable situation is to communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure you keep a paper trail of the work you have done and the goals you have met.
3. The Everyman Boss
This boss may be just as self-involved as the previous type, but his or her mode of operation is to try and be liked by the majority of their employees. Their deep need for self-assurance makes them indecisive. Because this person follows the winds of approval, there is always inconsistency. Your best response to this kind of boss is to maintain a healthy distance and respond with logic and hard work.
4. The Competitive Boss
It’s very hard to function as a team with this type of boss because they drive instead of lead. He or she is always pitting employees against one another to see who rises to the top. The best way to handle a boss like this is to “manage up.” Stay engaged and remain competitive in your work, but present the value of teamwork in the process. Model the better way.