Some Diagnostic Work Can Help You Deal with a Bad Boss


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Most people will encounter a difficult or bad boss at some point in their careers. Rather than retreating, you can deal with the situation by starting with some diagnostic work, a management consultant says.

Writing for the Harvard Business Review blog, consultant John Beeson suggests doing some digging to learn about your boss’s goals and interests. “What does he value?” Beeson writes. “A sense of urgency, attention to detail, getting everyone on board before advancing a proposed initiative? How does he take in and process information: reading, verbal updates, fact-based analysis? How does he make decisions: analytically or based on the endorsement of trusted lieutenants? What issues is he vitally interested in—and which is he prepared to delegate to you with only periodic updates?”

Once you answer those questions, you can help your boss achieve his or her goals, while communicating in his or her preferred style, according to Beeson, author of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level. It may also help, Beeson says, if you let your boss know you desire to learn from him or her.

The Careerist notes Beeson’s advice and sums up the lesson. “In other words,” the Careerist says, “until you get that other dream job (or burn out), suck it up.”

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