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.
- Set expectations after you fall short.
- Use correction as explanation.
- 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:
- 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.
- Use email to clarify expectations. “I’m just checking to be sure that I’m heading in the right direction….”
- Listen and repeat what you hear being said.
- Let psycho bosses know what you’re doing, even before you do it.
- Offer alternatives without challenging authority. “I was just thinking that we could …. What do you think?”
- Don’t complain about your psycho boss to the people who hired him/her.
- 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.
I love #7: Always bring your best. It’s difficult but potentially uplifting in the face of demoralizing behaviour in the work place.
Good evening Dan;
My-o-my does this ever evoke sour memories. Many would say ‘The Golden Ring’ was within my grasp. (THEN) I would’ve agreed.
I cannot believe I held on to the strong belief that my 20 year reputation could be tarnished by the negative intentions of others.
Knowing I had no choice but to protect my Character and standing, never did I think it would lead to the loss of a high echelon job for our workplace leader. As well as Punitive Transfers for 2 others.
Sometimes the best laid plans just aren’t enough…
Ohh I’ve had plenty of Psycho Bosses. A great example:
Me: I have a great idea…
This is great advice Dan, stick to doing your best and being patient; eventually the Psycho boss will move on, or be forced to move on and things will get better.
How does one work with a CEO who does not reply to most emails and face to face typically answers my questions with, “We need to talk about that later.” and takes offense if asked for a specific time or day to continue the discussion.
Psycho bosses are inhuman and full of unnecessary anger! They try to threaten whenever things don’t go per their expectations. Expectations are invariably known after the incidents take place. They always push things and call for too much of reporting in certain formats since they don’t trust or believe in collective efforts. At times, they try to get the information from the peer group rather than checking directly and create an environment of suspense or fear psychosis.
The praise is quite rare! They are never satisfied and usually find faults in people with responsibility. They are in the forefront to take any credit when things go well. Very dangerous since they are cranky and are in habit of pulling legs in front of all. They also abuse at times!
The only solution is to leave them to progress in a cohesive environment where you are valued!
A bad boss creates tension when they walk into a room. One way to deal with a bad boss is to not allow their bad behaviour drag you down with them by reacting, or write your next resume and move to a different location.
I would add that it’s often a good idea to send your boss an e-mail after your meeting with him/her to summarize your understanding of the discussion. Putting things in writing documents your conversation and gives the boss an opportunity to agree or disagree with your understanding of the meeting “takeaways.”
When dealing with a psycho boss try to remember that their actions toward you are most likely not personal. That they behave that way to many people. Do what you need to do for your job. Don’t react to them. Also, a psycho boss is most likely someone who is insecure in their position. Do what you can do to get them to understand you are on their side and not there to undermine them. I have found sometimes just asking them about their family or something else personal humanizes them and also helps them trust me.
Thanks Holly. Love the compassion I feel in your comment. I find that compassion is open and helpful. But lack of compassion leads to judging and criticism. So helpful. Cheers
I agree with Mr. Asher – leave for an environment where you’re valued. About 8 years ago, on my first day at the new job, the building manager gave me a ride from the president’s home office to the main building. The manager said, “Let me remember your face in case you leave. The 3 persons hired before you quit the same day, and I’m wondering how long you’ll be able to tolerate the abuse.” I lasted 3 months then had to move on to save my health and sanity. Sometimes leaving is the only solution.
One thing to be realized is that bosses are bosses for a reason. There has to be something about them which took them to that position. Find out that strength of your boss and utilize it for your and his sanity and to get the work done.