By Stephen D. Bruce, PHR
Editor, HR Daily Advisor
The original story advised managers how to deal with the three types of bosses—Remarkable, Toxic or Perilous—described by executive coach Dr. Karol Wasylyshyn, in her Behind the Executive Door: Unexpected Lessons for Managing Your Boss and Your Career.
Wasylyshyn. a licensed psychologist and executive advisor, is founder of the Leadership Development Forum, which provides practical guidance for improving your work experience. Here are the responses of your fellow readers:
Having a perilously toxic boss, I have had to combine strategies. I am working on getting out. In the meantime, I continually build credit outside of my department by sharing knowledge and working collaboratively with other departments freely and reflect best practices back to my boss (only she can decide if she will use my example or not). It is important to bond with my peers inside and outside of my organization and to keep telling myself that I do know what I am doing. Hopefully my escape plan will pan out soon.
HR budget cuts? Let us help. HR.BLR.com is your one-stop solution for all your HR compliance and training needs. Take a no-cost, no-obligation trial and get a complimentary copy of our special report Critical HR Recordkeeping—From Hiring to Termination. It's yours—no matter what you decide.
Don't be afraid of your boss because fear gives power to the other person. Concentrate on doing your job well, learning more than you may need to know about the job, the boss, the place you work. Pick out the good points of each and work toward that. Be willing to help others simply because you can and you know how to help them. Don't act like you know more than you really do. Always, always be honest. Last, if you can't take it start looking for someplace else to go. It's always easier to find something when you have something.
Just a note: In my observations, I have noticed that the Perilous Boss also has Toxic Boss inclinations.
I had a Toxic Boss and I know what you mean: When all was great it was me (the Boss), but when something was wrong it was you. And he never cared about us, he always said, "THIS IS MY BUILDING, I'M THE BOSS. EITHER YOU LIKE IT OR RESIGN.”
Agreed about building bonds, but it's also important to resist the temptation to bond by commiserating about the boss or bosses. It always seems to get back to them, and even if it doesn't, it can reflect poorly on you.
Remember that your boss is only a person and if he/she chooses to stand in a baby pool of toxic (poo), you don't have to get in there too. Perilous and toxic persons are only revealing their insecurities in which you have absolutely no control. When he/she is spewing, try this: nod your head (not shake) and say things like—with a smile—"Yes, I can see how frustrating that is." or "I absolutely agree with you, sir, this is your building.” Or, "I absolutely agree with you, you are the boss." Then don't say anything else and make your escape. There is no power struggle if one does not engage. Remember, intelligence, position or money does not create consciousness.
I had a toxic boss when I first started working. His behavior adversely impacted my ability to be productive. I took advantage of a temporary assignment, where I worked independently and the new boss was extremely happy with my work. The old boss asked why I left, when I returned. I was honest with him about how his behavior impacted my performance and he actually changed how he managed. We developed a very good working relationship before the project ended and went our separate ways. I would never have obtained my professional licenses if he had not encouraged me to get them.
The tip is practical and priceless. It left me wanting to learn more about handling. I would like to have more of such constructive tips. Professional leadership has been made easy.
This exercise could doubly valuable if you applied the same questions to yourself—what kind of boss are you to your staff?
If you have comments about this tip and want to post them on this page to share your thoughts with other HR Daily Advisor readers, simply enter your comments below. NOTE: Your name will appear on any comments posted.
Copyright © 2013 BLR Business & Legal Reports Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.