Dimitri A.C. Ly | April 23, 2012 What To Do When Your Boss Is An Idiot
Everyone who’s ever had a boss has experienced frustration, but most of the time managers earn their position based on intelligence. And sometimes the disgruntled employees are right — some bosses can be truly incompetent. There are as many types of bad bosses are there are bad people, but here are some common types, and the best ways to deal with having to work for them.
The Corporate Bully
Characteristics: Rude and drunk with power, corporate bullies will go out of their way to humiliate you in front of clients, colleagues and, of course, their own superiors. Their management strategy consists of making condescending remarks during performance reviews and threatening to fire you every time there’s a problem, whether or not you’re at fault. How to handle this incompetent boss: Dealing with incompetent bosses like the corporate bully can be challenging. The trick is to fly under your supervisor’s radar while drawing attention from the higher ups. Always stand up for yourself, but be subtle about it –a disapproving look can go a long way — and find a mentor who can expose you to new opportunities as well as shield you from your manager’s temper tantrums.
Characteristics: Everyone is familiar with the saying: “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Micromanagers live by it, nitpicking every aspect of your work, including the number of seconds by which you deviated from your scheduled break. Granted, they provide great support if you don’t mind having someone constantly checking on your progress, but if you value your independence, you’re in trouble. How to handle this incompetent boss: When dealing with incompetent bosses of the sort, it’s important you never appear as if you’re trying to usurp their authority. Micromanagers are typically insecure, so it’s best to keep them apprised of all your actions. However, only do so after the fact. The idea is to give your supervisor the illusion of control while remaining reasonably autonomous.
The Office Politician
Characteristics: Cowardly and duplicitous, office politicians always put their needs over those of the team. They may act like your best friend, but they’ll stab you in the back the minute you get too chummy with senior management. Broken promises, misinformation and stolen ideas are all par for the course when dealing with incompetent bosses of this kind. How to handle this incompetent boss: The best way to protect yourself against an office politician is to communicate in writing. That way, all your questions, requests and proposals become official record. If your boss tries to finalize the agreement verbally, follow it up with an e-mail confirmation, making sure to CC at least one other person in the company.
The Senior Enforcer
Characteristics: Usually promoted because of seniority, this type of boss is devoid of common sense, following procedures to the letter and shutting down every effort to innovate. Terrified of making a decision, senior enforcers also have trouble with the notion that maintaining employee morale is among their duties, so don’t expect any sort of flexibility. How to handle this incompetent boss: It’s important you remain solution-minded when dealing with incompetent bosses, especially those lacking initiative. However, keep in mind that senior enforcers are notoriously resistant to change, so don’t bother introducing any groundbreaking ideas until you have a few allies ready to back you up. It’s also best to wait for a large meeting before making your