How to Outsmart Your Horrible Boss: A Six-Part Blog Series + Part I

Posted In: The Office
Posted On: 11/13/2014

"Let me tell you something. You stupid little runt. I own you. You're my bitch. So don't walk around here thinking you have free will, because you don't. I could crush you anytime I want. So settle in, 'cause you are here for the long haul." -Dave Harken, Horrible Bosses I loved the movie, Horrible Bosses, from 2011.  And on November 26th, Horrible Bosses 2 makes its way into theatres around the country.  Although the bosses portrayed are truly horrible and suitable for an R rated movie, I hate to admit it, but the fiction is not too far from reality!  Horrible bosses do exist and since we can’t kill them or kidnap them, we need to learn how to deal with them... In this six-part blog series based on a chapter from my book, Sleep Your Way to the Top (and other myths about business success), I will share descriptions of real-life horrible bosses and more importantly, how you can successfully survive them. Join me as I share the secrets to: 1) the bull in the china shop; 2) the passive-aggressive; 3) the bi-polar; 4) the all stick, no carrot; 5) the glass is half empty; and finally 6) the idiot. And now...

Part I.  The Bull in the China Shop This type of boss is truly annoying as a peer, but is especially aggravating as a boss.  She is always super loud, as if turning up the volume will result in people listening to her more. In addition, she continually makes things contentious. Her style is to confront versus facilitate and every situation becomes a battle.  Her natural ability to alienate co-workers makes it difficult for your cross-departmental projects to get completed.  She is intimidating and this is the source of her power.  She gets things done because she incites fear in subordinates. (AKA: the Bitch). How to deal with the bull? First, don’t take her aggressive nature personally.  This is how she has operated throughout her life (she probably commandeered a lot of toys back in the day), so her work persona will be no different. Second, realize that she has a “driver” personality and that means you need to stick with the facts.  Confrontational people can best be diffused by minimizing the emotions of the situation.  Facts help with that. Third, they will try to pull you into their emotional whirlwind, so be aware and attempt to avoid being sucked into the vortex. Finally, make sure you are building alliances on your own and not depending on her to be your connection to others in the organization.  You don’t want co-workers to put you in the same category with the bull. Establish your own identity. Next Up: The Passive Aggressive Boss