How to cope with a control-freak boss
Controlling bosses can make the workplace a living hell, but winning their trust is essential to improving office relations.
So says Kaley Klemp, an executive coach and co-author of “The Drama-Free Office: A Guide to Healthy Collaboration with Your Team, Coworkers, and Boss”.
“Trust is a big, big deal,” said Klemp, who wrote the book with her fellow coach and dad, Jim Warner. “Controllers are looking for those who are on their side.”
With “National Boss Day” right around the corner on Oct. 17, Klemp said now’s a good time to think about how to smooth things over with an unruly micromanager before a bad situation gets worse.
According to Klemp’s statistics, some 46 percent of employees work for or have worked for an unreasonable boss at some point in their careers.
Once underlings demonstrate support and willingness to go the distance for a micromanaging boss, that person is more apt to be receptive to the worker’s needs, said Klemp, noting that controllers typically reward loyalty.
Beyond developing a good rapport, those under the grips of a controller would do well to ask for clear-cut goals and expectations, she said. That way the employee can deliver results that will make the boss look better.
“Have their best interests in mind,” said Klemp, who notes controllers are typically poor delegators. “Understand where they’re coming from.”
Launching a surprise attack on the boss to voice complaints – alone or with co-workers – is among several tactics that can backfire and even lead to dismissal, she said.
Controllers are not intentionally trying to be difficult, she said, but are often subject to unseen pressures from above, such as a board of directors, or investors.
“Their intention is they want the best results,” she said. “It’s not like they woke up one morning and said ‘I wonder if I can be a jerk.’”