Deal with a difficult team leader

Posted on Sat May 18, 2013.

1. Define your boss’s goals. “By helping your boss achieve his goals and communicating actively on those issues he cares about—and doing so in his preferred style—you can begin to build the boss’s confidence and make an imperfect relationship acceptable.”
Translation: If your boss doesn’t look good, you won’t look good.
2. Figure out your boss’s working style. Does he want tasks performed immediately? A detailed product? “How does he take in and process information: reading, verbal updates, fact-based analysis? How does he make decisions: analytically or based on the endorsement of trusted lieutenants?”
Translation: Give it to him the way he likes it—even if it’s wasteful and makes little sense.
3. Know your boss’s talents. “Try to identify your boss’s base of knowledge and expertise and convey a desire to learn from him. Often when a boss feels valued and confident that he is receiving all of the information he feels necessary to do his job, the seeds of a more positive relationship are sown.”
Translation: No one is immune to flattery. So tell her she’s awesome—like, “You are such an amazing negotiator that those nine hours in that airless conference room just whizzed by!”
In other words, until you get that other dream job (or burn out), suck it up.
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