With the bully, OfficeTeam suggests you stand up for yourself. Don't bully back — or get loud or angry — but rather, calmly stand up for yourself and explain your position. Often, this type of manager responds to a "voice of reason." With the micromanager, it's usually a matter of trust - "so make sure you build it," OfficeTeam advises. That means you don't miss deadlines, you pay attention to details, and you keep your boss in the loop.
You can head off the poor communicator by being proactive and asking a lot of questions up front. Don't get aggravated — be diplomatic, OfficeTeam says. The saboteur is tricky, but one way to win this person over is to make him or her look good — just not at the expense of your own career advancement. Also, document, document, document — keep a paper trail, so if things go down, you have evidence.
The fickle boss is, of course, hard to predict . . . like a squirmy child. Your best defense here is to not take mood swings personally. Remember it's not about you and there's probably a whole lot of stuff you know nothing about that's making your boss act that way. When he or she is on edge, OfficeTeam suggests, try to limit communications to only urgent matters.
Employee-wellness company Keas offers three key tips for dealing with a toxic boss: Stand up for yourself — but be diplomatic and respectful; seek clarification when necessary to avoid miscommunications; and try to separate your personal ego from your business persona.
Taylor has a very simple approach to dealing with a bad boss: Treat him like a toddler.
"Employees should look at a boss who's acting out like a toddler," Taylor said. "Employees tend to internalize everything, but they forget that many times behind the pinstripes or pearls are really training pants!" she quipped.
Taylor notes that bad bosses and toddlers share a lot of traits: Tantrums, being demanding, stubborn, self-centered, and, like everyone's favorite television nincompoop boss Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell on "The Office"), fickle with a short attention span, needy, and prone to mood swings.
Just because bad bosses are like toddlers doesn't mean you give them a time out. You know what? Just for thinking of that, give yourself a time out.
Are you ready to listen now?
OK, let's continue.
When dealing with one of these bad bosses, you have to manage up — take almost a parenting approach, Taylor said. She uses the acronym CALM — Communicate (be open, honest and communicate frequently). Anticipate problems. "If you see a tantrum working its way down the hall, don't stick your neck out!" Taylor advises. Laugh, "because it's a great diffuser of tension and breaks barriers," Taylor said. And finally, Manage Up. "We're not speaking about parenting here or coddling," she said. "If you're good parents, you know there's such a thing as tough love. You have to be a proactive problem solver, as well as a role model and provider of positive energy."
If your boss throws a tantrum, your job is to act as quickly as possible. You can't give him or her a time out, so your job is to do what Taylor calls a "reverse time out" — get yourself out of there.
"Stage a coughing fit, or say a client is waiting for your call — try to leave the scene and tell your boss that you'll speak to her later," Taylor said. "You don't fight a bully back with being a bully — or fight a tantrum with a tantrum. It will just backfire."