Work Smarter//

How to Deal With a Manager Who Works Differently Than You Do

If your boss' work ethic conflicts with your own, there are ways to cope without leaving altogether.

Foxy burrow / Shutterstock
Foxy burrow / Shutterstock

You might have a client who works under the boss from hell. Your clients can’t fire the boss, but they can take some action that will benefit them in the long run. Here are some ways to deal with a workaholic boss.

Avoid anger and impatience. These are the traits of workaholics who are socially isolated and task focused. Remain tactful and diplomatic, even when you’re frustrated. Talk with your boss and try to see his or her human side. Try to find an idea, pastime, or point of view that gives you common ground to connect with your boss so that you can stay objective and see the problem as bigger than just the two of you.

Schedule a meeting with your boss to find out what his or her expectations of you are, and the expectations of your boss’s boss. Ask exactly what type of performance is expected of you in order for you to receive an excellent review rating. According to some experts, 99 percent of the time work hours are graded for not putting in extra hours. Make sure your boss understands your point of view, the importance of your personal life, and your expectations concerning job demands. Making priorities, set goals, and schedule your time accordingly.

Reach out to coworkers who are experiencing similar problems with the boss. Start support-group meetings before or after work, or during lunch in designated places at the work site. By meeting together and talking about your problems constructively, you can develop a rich support system to draw on in the job setting. When appropriate, schedule a group meeting with the boss and explain your concerns in a constructive way. Ask for feedback or ground rules so that all of you can be productive and avoid future problems.

Excerpt from Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them with permission from the author and publisher.

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