August 30, 2009

Handling a Tyrant Boss

Lynn Taylor, a workplace expert and contributor to Business Week magazine offers suggestions book on how employees can manage difficult bosses, which she dubs TOTs "Terrible Office Tyrants." She says TOTs are bosses who act strikingly similar to children, like toddlers in their Terrible Twos. Taylors says there are five hallmarks of a TOT and she offers tips on managing them:
• Determine the best time of day and day of the week to approach your TOT;

• Don't hang around for the fireworks or engage;
• Keep CALM -- Communicate, Anticipate, Laugh, and Manage;

• Set expectations through regular meetings;
• Let your TOT know when you are feeling overwhelmed and use priority task lists;
• Communicate when a project has been successful;

• Encourage your TOT's independence and reinforce her own competence;
• Offer a plan to cover excessive workloads;
• Help your boss learn that other people can serve her as well;

• Use positive language to relax your stubborn TOT;
• Know that it's easier for TOTs to be more flexible if there's something in it for them;
• Offer choices and compromises that empower your TOT;

• Make communications compelling;
• Use props, visual aids, and humor to keep your manager engaged and on target;
• Manage interruptions.

These tips and Taylor's book, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT): How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job, will be valuable for many Ombuds' visitors. (Business Week; Tame Your Tot Blog.)

Related posts: When the Boss is a Bully or Jerk; Opinion of Boss Drives Most Decisions to Quit.

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