Is your boss a total nut-job? A recent study found that the number of CEOs with psychopathic personalities has quadrupled in the last few years. And an erratic boss can make or break your professional future. So, here’s a crash course in dealing with a difficult boss:
First: Start speaking their “crazy” language. Monica Wofford is the author of "Make Difficult People Disappear.” She says try to pinpoint their personality, then communicate with them in that exact style. That way they’ll think you’re similar, and they’ll be more open to working with you, not against you. For example, if they’re domineering, send them daily status updates. If they’re really curt, make sure you keep your communication brief too. Don’t go on and on about a problem, state it as simply as possible. Or if they don’t like confrontation, make sure you approach them in a softer more personal way. And literally use the same language they use. So if they say, “I want to look over your work,” you say, “Here’s my work for you to look over.”
Part Two to speaking your boss’ crazy language: Copy their communication method. For example, does your boss mostly email you? Then, email them your updates and notes. Or, if they like face-to-face conversations, start swinging by their office to check in.
And the final way to communicate with a “crazy” boss: Ask questions! Career experts say that asking questions is your secret weapon when dealing with a difficult manager. That’s because it forces them to specifically say what they want. For example, if you’re slammed, and your boss gives you another new and “urgent” project, say something like, “I’m also working on the proposal and answering sales calls. How would you like me to prioritize my workload?” That way, you know what they expect.