Because everyone seemed to enjoy my last article on dealing with difficult bosses, I’ve decided to share four more ways to remote control a manager who’s making your work life unbearable. I’m not saying you’ll have your boss dancing like a puppet, but these tactics can definitely help you manage upward more effectively.
1. Deliver on Your Promises
One of the best ways to capture your boss’s attention and gain their trust is to deliver again and again on your promises. If your boss sees you as a dependable worker who always delivers, they will be putty in your hands (to an extent). They should become much more responsive to your needs. They’ll want to get out of your way and help you remove any other obstacles standing between you and your goal.
2. Tell Your Boss How to Get the Best From You
If you’re lucky enough to have a boss who is skilled at identifying each team member’s preferred managerial style and managing accordingly, then you’re in the minority. Many people have to deal with managers who employ rigid, one-style-fits-all approaches, which can be very frustrating.
If you are struggling under your boss’s management style, then tell your boss. Don’t criticize them; instead, sit down for a semiformal, well-prepared meeting and tell your boss how to get the best from you.
I think that one of the best ways to do this is to use some kind of Myers-Briggs personality profile to give your boss reputable evidence for your communication, relationship, and management preferences. Giving your boss a copy of your personality profile should help them gain insight into how you like to be managed. It may even encourage them to adapt their style to suit your preferences — in return for better performance from you, of course.
3. Get Your Boss Working for You
View your boss as someone who is there to support you and provide you with the resources you need to do your job. Your boss should serve you and fight in your corner. Seeing you boss this way should give you the confidence to make timely and constructive requests for support.
4. Learn Your Boss’s Preferred Communication Style
Remote-controlling your boss is about more than bending them to your will. For example, your boss also has a preferred communication style, just like you do. If you want to get the most out of your boss, you’ll need to communicate with them in their preferred style — the same way they should communicate with you in your preferred style if they want the most from you. Do they prefer email communication, weekly written reports, or face-to-face conversation? Find out which buttons to press to get them to respond to you in an engaged way.
I’d love to hear any tips you have for managing upward and remote-controlling your difficult boss to improve your career and workplace well-being.