7 Ways to Deal with a Psycho Boss

A friend said the team cheers when the boss doesn’t show up for work. He has a psycho boss.

5 signs you have a psycho boss:

#1. Psycho bosses don’t explain what they want until they don’t get what they didn’t say they wanted.

Psycho bosses:

  1. Set expectations after you fall short.
  2. Use correction as explanation.
  3. Expect team members to read their mind.

Psycho bosses don’t know what they want until something they don’t like happens.

#2. Psycho bosses think other departments are the enemy.

Everyone is a threat to a psycho boss, even you.

I remember finding out that other departments were trying to do a great job just like ours. My psycho boss always complained about those incompetent others.

A psycho boss makes backstabbing an art. On the surface it seems like they’re trying to excel. But in reality they need to feel superior.

#3. Psycho bosses are paranoid.

A psycho boss’s fear of looking bad drives them to work late, come in early, and micromanage everyone on the team.

Paranoid psycho bosses deliver results at the expense of others. Higher ups tolerate psycho bosses because they’re driven to deliver results.

#4. Psycho bosses are unpredictable.

In the morning, they’re happy as clams. In the afternoon, the world is coming to an end. One minute they love you, then next you wonder if you have a job.

#5. Psycho bosses dangle carrots.

Psycho bosses love to motivate others by promising promotions and raises, but in the end they don’t deliver.

Psycho bosses say idiotic things like, “You’re too valuable to be promoted. I need you too much.” If this ever happens to you, sharpen your resume’ and get out as soon as possible.

Overcoming psycho bossholery:

Clarity, trust, consistency, supportiveness, and stability help normalize psycho bosses. If you suspect you’re a psycho boss, work on clarity on Monday, extending trust on Tuesday, and so on.

Improvement always means change.

If you aren’t changing, you aren’t improving.

7 ways to deal with a psycho boss:

  1. Don’t get even when you get mad. Getting even by doing less than your best is justification for your boss to act more like a psycho.
  2. Use email to clarify expectations. “I’m just checking to be sure that I’m heading in the right direction….”
  3. Listen and repeat what you hear being said.
  4. Let psycho bosses know what you’re doing, even before you do it.
  5. Offer alternatives without challenging authority. “I was just thinking that we could …. What do you think?”
  6. Don’t complain about your psycho boss to the people who hired him/her.
  7. Always bring your best, even when your boss is the worst. It’s never useful to use a psycho boss as an excuse for mediocre work.

What signs indicate a psycho boss is on the premises?

What suggestions do you have for dealing with a psycho boss?

*I relax my 300 word limit on the weekends.