Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Suffering Under A Weak Boss?

I came across this article from 2001 about how to deal with weak bosses in a work environment and consider it to be a nice refresher on managing authority figures. Anyone who has worked in a variety of companies or settings will have encountered atleast ONE frustrating boss and felt the inexplicable urge to bang one's head against a wall. So, here are some tips on what to do:

1 Recognise the signs. Weak bosses are often aggressive and emotional because they can't find rational ways of controlling their environments. In the past, they were often physically violent; now they tend to be manipulative, volatile, irascible or inept. They frequently create chaotic, confused atmospheres with blurred boundaries and lines of responsibility and communication because they're scared of taking decisions or being blamed if things go wrong.

2 Move away if your destiny is controlled by this sort of person. In an ordinary work environment, you could wait 15 years until that nice but ineffectual boss swings you a pay rise. Timid people can ruin lives, too.

3 Consider your boss's motivation. The 'weak but vain' type wants the kudos of perceived power, creating great opportunities for a strong and effective deputy or eminence grise figure. Encourage your boss to make the right decisions for you.

4 Understand that fear is the main motivator for many weaklings. 'They will always be looking for some opportunity not to make decisions so you have to think through every idea you present to them. Don't take their comments at face value - look for their motivations. One way forward is to provide the frightened ones with some certainty and reliability. You could wield more power if they trust you as a fixed point in their changing universe.

5 Play on their fears when they suggest daft projects. 'I have to congratulate you: what a courageous stance to take,' is a particularly good line. But never let on that you regard your boss as a twit: once crossed, a weak person can lack the clear-mindedness to re-evaluate your worth. They often fight dirty.

Enjoy your work day.

Courtesy: Guardian.co.uk, Dilbert :)

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