Is your boss prone to disappearing just when you need them? Or do they prefer to text you at all hours of the night?
LinkedIn polled over 2,000 employees to identify the management styles that frighten them. And based on the findings, they’ve identified five terrible boss profiles, ranging from ‘ghost boss’ to ‘vampire.’
Though the names may make you cringe, the descriptions are terrifyingly accurate for anyone who has ever worked for a difficult boss.
However, Charlotte Davies, a LinkedIn career expert, has shared some helpful tips for dealing with these ghoulish characters in the workplace.
First is the ‘Ghost Boss’
There are bosses who expect you to do everything and give you little to no direction on how to go about achieving them.
TIP: Working with an absent manager can be extremely frustrating and alienating.
While dealing with a “ghost boss” can be difficult, it can also be an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills by taking charge of the situation and taking the initiative in running projects while your boss is unavailable.
Be specific with your boss about where you need more direction, and pick your battles – for example, if an important project is approaching.
There are ‘Vampire Bosses’
The Vampire Bosses will texts you about work at odd hours, expecting a quick response from you without considering what you might be doing with your private time.
TIP: We’ve all had to work late for a special meeting or presentation, but if your boss calls you after hours on a regular basis, you know something isn’t right.
Setting clear boundaries and pushing back in these situations is difficult, but necessary if you want to avoid burnout later on. Set these boundaries early in your career and communicate your limits clearly.
The Trick or Treat Boss
They can be measured and calm one minute and angry and irrational the next. You never know which mood to expect or what will set them off, just like Jekyll and Hyde.
TIP: No matter what the situation, being rude is never the solution. According to LinkedIn research, 60% of UK professionals say that reaching out to a colleague or boss for an open conversation when they are angry helps them calm down.
Stay calm and ask for a private meeting to resolve any issues they may have and to address how their behaviour is making you feel.
If this is a recurring issue rather than a one-time occurrence, and your boss is harassing or bullying you, report it to HR or a senior member of staff.
The Poltergeist Boss
The Poltergeist silently rearranges meetings and deadlines and edits your work without your knowledge.
TIP: Unexpected deadlines and calendar changes can be extremely frustrating. It is critical to communicate openly with your boss and inform them of how their actions affect you.
It’s possible that an external source, such as a client or senior stakeholder, is shifting the goalposts while your manager tries to keep up, so understanding their point of view can help realign your shared objectives.
Micromanaging Monster Boss
The type of boss who feels the need to micromanage every aspect of your work and never lets you make decisions or take on projects without first consulting them.
TIP: Being micromanaged at work can be extremely demotivating. Most of the time, this stems from a manager’s own fear of letting go. This can be a difficult pattern to break, but setting specific goals and communicating progress updates can help.
Sending a weekly written update at a time convenient for you, for example, will allow you to reclaim some agency and demonstrate that you’re capable of managing projects while also advancing your career.