Reporting to an autocratic boss can be challenging to say the least. Their command-and-control, tyrannical, and downright inconsiderate behavior isn’t only frustrating … it can be unbearable. But in tough economic times, quitting your job isn’t always an option. You may just have to learn to deal with them.
Check out four ways you can better manage your autocratic boss:
1. Keep your boss informed – Not everyone likes surprises … your autocratic boss being one of them. From the most miniscule detail to major project decisions, you need to keep your boss in the loop. Autocratic bosses are controlling, so you need to make them feel included in every aspect of your work.
2. Gain their trust – Trust is the hardest thing to gain from autocratic bosses. Their one-sided decision-making process isn’t conducive to outside opinions. But if you work to gain their trust, they’ll be more willing to listen to your suggestions.
Try to become the messenger for your coworkers. Let them know that you’re willing to communicate their problems and questions to your boss. It may be intimidating to be the one who relays everything to the boss, but autocrats lack people skills. So by acting as the buffer between your boss and coworkers, your tyrannical boss will begin to develop trust in you.
3. Do the dirty work – Though autocratic bosses love to micromanage, they also see many workplace tasks as below them. While they may want to create the entire sales strategy for a new product, actually communicating that strategy to their employees is like pulling teeth to them. Instead, offer to do their dirty work for them and present the strategy to your coworkers. Whatever the undesirable task may be, offer them your services. They may not show it, but they’ll be grateful you did.
4. Know when to cut the cord – Though it’s possible to manage your autocratic boss, it’s nearly impossible to change him or her. That’s why you may need to plan an exit strategy early on. First, decide what you want to gain from the job. It could be experience, improved skills, or a chance to build your portfolio. Then, figure out how much time you need to stay at your job to complete your goals. If your tyrannical boss is so maddening that he or she literally makes you crazy, then you may need to risk the shaky job market and quit then and there. No job is worth putting your health at risk.
While you may not be able to change your autocratic boss, it is possible to manage him or her. Hopefully by following these four steps, you’ll make your workplace a little more bearable.