Dr. Curry of The Growth Company Unveils Strategies To Deal With A Difficult Boss

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With numerous requests regarding How to Deal With A Difficult Boss, Dr. Curry CEO of The Growth Company, Inc. gives in-depth strategies how to make it a win - win situation.

When is enough, enough?

If you work for a boss who makes life hard, you have three options

Lynne Curry, Ph.D., SPHR, CEO of The Growth Company, Inc. receives questions from clients on a daily basis. Recently, clients have been asking Dr. Curry how to cope with their horrible bosses and what their options are. With 30 years of HR management experience, Dr. Curry has practical solutions; today Dr. Curry unveils strategies for clients to deal with their unpleasant bosses.

“If you work for a boss who makes life hard, you have three options,” says Dr. Curry, “you can suffer in misery, bail out or take action.” If an employee would rather not put up with their boss but the economy or other reasons preclude them from finding a new job with a better boss, managing the relationship with their boss may help keep their sanity.    

Micromanaging bosses worry that things may fall apart without their involvement. Dr. Curry advises, “By improving your upward communication, you earn your manager’s trust and he responds by giving you more leeway. Brief your manager before you’re asked to do so. If you drown your micromanager in information, he’ll ask you fewer questions.”

Another typical boss type is a compulsive workaholic. According to Dr. Curry, “Your best strategy -- when your boss dishes out each “over the top” assignment, ask ‘which are your priorities?’ If he passes you an assignment at the end of the day, respond ‘I’ll take this home and see how much I can get done’ or ‘Ouch, I’ve got a commitment tonight but will come in half an hour early and start.’ By saying what you can do, you short-stall concerns that you won’t do what’s asked.”

Further, Dr. Curry advises to earn the over-assigning boss’s trust by working intensely all day long. By keeping on top of the most crucial priorities and working at a steady “petal to the metal” 65 mph, one can keep their work-centered boss in check.
If one works for a frustratingly indecisive supervisor and wants to succeed, help her. Remind her about deadlines, offer to gather the information she needs and present her with proposed solutions. Dr. Curry adds, “The choice is yours – you can suffer her incompetence or work to improve the situation.”

“If your supervisor waffles in the face of decisions, give her both the facts and support she needs to move forward. If she still hesitates, ask ‘what’s worrying you?’ Once you know what leads a waffler to feel stuck, you can often show how no decision costs more than a decision.”

If one’s boss finds it easier to criticize than to praise, consider his criticism an opportunity to learn and grow. The next time he says “this report isn’t clear” ask “which sections need clarification?” Dr. Curry advises, “By learning the standards by which he judges your work you reduce the volume of criticism coming your way and become sharper at your game.”

Finally, Dr. Curry says, “Have a boss that isn’t described above and need to more effectively manage a difficult boss, ask yourself ‘What does my boss expect of me and how can I meet and exceed those expectations?’ and ‘What creates problems between my boss and I and what part do I play in creating or continuing these problems?’” Dr. Curry adds “although you may not be able to change your boss, you can strategize how to manage your boss’s bad side.”

Dr. Lynne Curry is a management/employee trainer and owner of the consulting firm The Growth Company Inc. Send your questions to her at lynne(at)thegrowthcompany(dot)com. You can follow Lynne on Twitter @lynnecurry10

© Lynne Curry, November 2012, http://www.thegrowthcompany.com

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