Every workplace is different. For some their office might be an exciting place to go; others it may be downright awkward to ask a question; while a few never know what to expect. Often the difference is actually a result of the manager. It’s important for you to recognize if this is the case, as a boss can shape and help make — or break — your career! Identify early on what kind of boss you have and decide how to form the most beneficial relationship possible with them.
Throughout the course of your professional career, whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder in some multinational business or you’re working for a small nonprofit organization, you’re going to encounter a number of different types of bosses. Each of them will have their own quirks, their own processes, and their own mentalities, and if you want to survive, you would need to learn how to deal with all of them.
Here are some type of bosses and how to work for them :
- The Workaholic
Balancing work with life is not a familiar concept to the workaholic boss. This boss always puts the job first. You will find this boss working on holidays, snow days, and after hours. Plus, there will never be a day when this boss calls off sick. But, just because your boss never leaves the office, doesn’t mean you can’t either. Do all of your work efficiently and the workaholic shouldn’t be a problem.
- The Traditionalist
This boss has been with the company for years and years. Traditionalists are very set in their ways and don’t take kindly to change. They like to do things the way they’ve always done them. If you work for a traditionalist, be receptive to the old methods. You never know, their methods might actually work pretty well. Occasionally you may be able to introduce them to some new methods. If they never accept change, your boss’s boss will eventually realize something isn’t working.
- The Power Hungry or the God Boss
Power is everything for this boss. They appreciate the management position more than the job itself. They believe they have supreme authority because of their title. Essentially, this boss has the “because I said so” mentality. If this is your boss, do what is asked of you, but also, do what you think is right. Don’t comply with outrageous requests just because the boss said so.
- The Nitpickers
According to the nitpickers, everything you do has something wrong with it. It can be the smallest detail, but this boss will make changes to your work, simply because they can. If your manager in a nitpicker , you need to choose your battles. Many times you probably won’t win. Develop ways to argue your case, while making sure your boss still feels in control. Compromise is key.
- The Micro manager
A micro manager is a perfectionist. This boss is involved in everything you do. This is even worse than the nitpickers because they will try to control all of your work, rather than pieces of it. If your boss is a micro manager, it is important not to take their over-involvement personally. Don’t let a micro manager take your motivation away. Instead, recognize that it’s going to happen and do the best you can.
- The Buddy or the Pushover
This boss wants to be friends with all of his or her employees. The buddy wants to be seen as an equal and be well-liked for it. Make sure to treat your boss friendly, but professionally.
The pushover doesn’t want to cause problems, so employees have the free rein. With them you can pretty much get away with anything. Leaving early, showing up late, whatever it may be. If this is your boss, don’t take advantage. Instead, motivate yourself to work hard so you can move up because your boss isn’t going to help you.
- The Under-qualified or Clueless Boss
This boss might be less educated, less familiar with the company, or less familiar with the industry than you. Just because your boss seems under-qualified, doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be a great boss. If they’re new to something you know really well, help bring them up to speed. They’ll remember you for it and will trust you in the future.
- The Eccentric
Eccentric bosses are over the top. They have very unique ideas about the workplace and very unique ways of accomplishing goals. This may result in confusion or frustration among employees. On the flip side, eccentric bosses can be the most open to suggestions and innovative ideas. It’s difficult to pinpoint how to succeed under an eccentric boss. Study their habits and determine a strategy specific to your boss. Above all, if you can focus on your work, this boss should be no problem.
- The Mia
Your boss is constantly missing in action. The Mia boss often works from home, or goes out for meetings, or stays locked in an office. It’s important to be self-sufficient if your manager is Mia. This is great for independent workers. Stay motivated and be proactive by asking for feedback. Take advantage of when your boss is available to check in.
- The Introvert
Introverts prefer to work alone. They became managers because of their hard skills, rather than their people skills. They work best when they’re working alone, so they’re not always the best at managing others. Again, it’s important to be self-sufficient with an introvert boss. Establish your own goals and go out of your way to learn things from them. Having a clear question on a process will allow them to provide you a detailed answer and discuss something they’re comfortable discussing. Avoid small talk, they don’t need it.
- The Great Boss
Finally, the ideal boss, the great boss is someone who is fair, someone who listens, and someone who motivates. The great boss asks for feedback and input from all employees. The great boss leads a positive work environment and wants you and your co-workers to succeed. It’s not hard to work for a great boss and you’re lucky if you have one.
No matter what types of bosses you have, there is always a way to succeed under their management. You can learn from anyone. Take note of the habits of managers you’ve liked and not liked. Hopefully you’ll find yourself in their position someday and you will be the great boss!
It should be underscored that no one type of boss is inherently “bad” or “good.” Yes, it may be annoying to deal with a micro manager, or frustrating to keep up with a shiny object chaser, but there are some advantages to these styles you may not see–and they don’t necessitate that their practitioners are bad workers (or bad human beings).
Secondly, this is a list of archetypes. Every boss you meet will be a unique human being, with his/her own set of strengths and weaknesses. Some may fall into multiple categories. Others won’t fall into any. This merely exists as a guide to help you navigate some of the most common–and most challenging–management styles out there.