Re: Fwd: difficulties with the boss

Subject: Re: Fwd: difficulties with the boss
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 12:43:00 -0500

Anonymous Poster wrote:

[snipped completely standard crap about having to deal with an incompetent, low-self-esteem, sociopathic manager]

Advice from someone who has been there, done that, more than once:

In the short run (while you are doing your damnedest to find another job, because this one is going to be untenable for the long run), consider these tactics, all of which I've used at one time or another in similar situations:

1. Do not send your written communication to the boss's boss. Instead request a private meeting to discuss "a confidential matter." Get that person's read on your boss: Does the manager already know your boss is a loose cannon or is this news? Are the manager's hands tied? Should you take this up with HR? Etc. You're asking politely for advice on the best way to "manage your boss"; you're not there to complain, only to describe the situation factually and unemotionally.

2. Speak truth to power.

Confront your boss, calmly and politely, with instances of her irreconcilable instructions and ask her to understand why you are confused by them. This will be unexpected and will throw her off. That's an opportunity for you to be the mature adviser who can help her with her self-esteem problem (surely she knows she has one even if she won't admit it the first time you bring it up). This completely changes the dynamic of the relationship.

3. Draw boundaries.

When she touches your body or your monitor, remove her hand forcefully and say, "don't do that." When she calls you names, instruct her that it is impermissible behavior and you won't stand for it. Treat her like the two-year-old she's behaving like, in other words.

4. Remind yourself constantly that this isn't about you; it's about her. This is for your own sanity, mostly. It's also to help you keep your voice under control.

5. Whenever the opportunity arises, stand at the white board with a marker in your hand, with your boss seated. This puts you in a position to control the conversation. Make your points directly and forcefully. If she objects irrationally, raise your voice (but in a controlled manner) until she begins to cry. At that point your work is done. Take up the rest of the agenda at a subsequent meeting and repeat the procedure.





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Fwd: difficulties with the boss: From: Anonymous Poster

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