Dealing With A Difficult Boss

[Career Essentials] Newsletter February 1, 2021


Welcome, loyal readers and new subscribers!

After an unusually warm beginning, January now feels like winter! I’m happy to stay home, catch up on my writing and reading and drink the wonderful hot chocolate Stan makes.

We escaped to Florida earlier this month to spend time with my wonderful cousins Lee and Nina, who always take such good care of us. Our side trip to Key West was fun and very interesting, too. The Truman summer white house, the Hemmingway House with his six-toed cats and the breathtaking sunsets were memorable.

Here’s a photo of my cousins Lee, Nina, Dave and Harriet and our good friends Meryl and Gerry, who were able to join us for dinner.

Okay, back to reality…

Are you working with a boss who drives you crazy?

If so, this month I start a two-part series called “Dealing With A Difficult Boss.” If you’re looking for ways to survive a toxic boss, without being arrested, read this month’s feature article below.

I’ll be on the radio again in March, with more useful strategies and tips for your career. I’ll be sending a separate email with how you can listen in.

In the recommended resource section below, I showcase a brand new product by ADHD Coach extraordinaire, Bonnie Mincu. Check it out if you want a step-by-step blue print for thriving with ADD/ADHD.

Wishing you a warm and toasty February!

To Your Success,

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I highly recommend Bonnie Mincu’s new Self-Coaching “Workshop in a Box” (Workbook and CD’s). Bonnie’s product is great if you want customized solutions tailored to your own traits, behavior patterns, and energy flow. Before, this type of customized solution was only available working one-on-one with an ADHD coach. That’s the reason Bonnie created this workshop in a box — for people who aren’t ready to work with a coach, or prefer to find their own answers. It comes with a money-back guarantee and valuable introductory bonuses. Click here for more details.

Feature Article

Dealing With A Difficult Boss

If you’re working in corporate America today, you’re being asked to do more with less. The economic downturn of the late 1990’s, outsourcing of jobs, and the implosion of whole sectors—all of these factors have contributed to a business environment that is fiercely competitive.

Nowhere does this nerve wracking and high velocity approach show up more than in the modus operandi of many bosses.

Learning how to function with a difficult boss is one of the hardest challenges you face in your work life. Have you heard the saying that people don’t leave jobs, they leave their bosses? So true! You can love your job but if you hate your boss, you will hate going to work. And you won’t last long.

So how do you deal with a difficult boss?

This month I profile two types of bosses: The Screamer and The Hypocrite.
See if you recognize your boss.

The Screamer

Don’t you just love this type of boss? NOT. At least she is predictable. You can rest assured that she will erupt like clockwork.

Watch for the telltale signs prior to erupting. Her brow will furl, eyebrows will rise and you can see the veins popping in her neck. Sometimes, she’ll just explode without any warning or provocation.

The screamer burns out quickly. And she won’t remember what she said 15 minutes later. Screamers don’t want to be interrupted; you’ll make matters worse if you try to respond. Batten down the hatches while she blows off steam. If you can’t remove yourself, at least you know that this eruption usually doesn’t last long. As with a child having a tantrum, you have to wait till the child runs out of tears and energy.

Dealing with The Screamer

After the high volume tirade stops and you have an opening, probe to find out what’s behind the loud stream of words. Deliberately lower the volume of your voice and the tone of the discourse.

Ask: “I want to make sure I understand; can we go over the most important points?”

Learn to judge the best times to approach her. Tone of voice, body language, time of day, all these hold signs of her emotional barometer. That’s the key to getting what you need and avoiding many of her outbursts.

One note of caution, you need to have a thick skin to deal with this type of boss. If you’re easily offended or take things personally (it’s hard not to when someone is screaming at you!), you’ll need an attitude adjustment or you will burn out. My best advice is to watch other people who work well with her, and follow their lead.

The Hypocrite

This boss says one thing but really means another. The hypocrite will say he wants you to take the lead but what he means is if you try to overstep your authority, he’ll embarrass you in front of staff members. Or he will say the company is hard pressed for cash and then you’ll find that he’s bought a designer suit and is planning a vacation in Europe. He is a master at talking out of both sides of his mouth. What you see is definitely not what you get!

Dealing with the Hypocrite

You need to figure out if your boss is just moody or if his behavior is done with intent. This is a huge distinction. If your boss’s behavior comes from mood swings, you need to keep your reactions as consistent as possible.

Whether things are good or bad, you need to control how you respond and not join your boss on his emotional rollercoaster. Be patient and professional at all times. Use a “charge neutral” voice, an even, unemotional tone.

On the other hand, if he alters his behavior to manipulate you, he is on power trip and patience and professionalism on your part won’t work. You’ll need to prepare an exit strategy and eventually, leave.

Next month, I’ll focus on two additional boss archetypes — The Ego Maniac and The Risk Averse Boss. Stay tuned for tips!

About Dale:

Dale Kurow, M.S. is an author and a career and executive coach in NYC. She works with clients across the U.S. and internationally, helping them to become better managers, figure out their next career moves and thrive despite office politics. Click here for more information about her services.

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