Buddy Bosses

Buddy Bosses

Buddy Bosses

Buddy Bosses

I don’t need any more friends, do you? Buddy Bosses are so determined
to occupy the same space in the universe with you that you’ll
welcome any excuse to elude them. This includes working. “Sorry
boss,” you rehearse saying in the mirror, putting on the most pitiful
face you can conjure. “The CEO just gave me a deadline directly.”
Logic like this places a Buddy Boss in the same type of paradoxical
bind Brer Rabbit laid on the fox. If you are fired, she loses a buddy
and has to break in someone new to replace you. So distressed is she
that you’re not available, she doesn’t even question why the CEO
might be giving you orders directly.

buddyYour Buddy Boss wants to hang with you, but she doesn’t want
you to get in trouble and not like her. If she has the power to relax a
deadline or get you out of a tough assignment altogether, it might be
worth kicking around with her a bit. With most Buddy Bosses, however,
people prefer to double their workload rather than becoming
joined at the head.

Buddy Bosses can be aggravating and annoying, but they are also
some of the most malleable bosses around. You can exert positive
influences on them more effectively than with almost any other type
of boss. If you are equally as emotionally needy as your Buddy Boss,
it could be a marriage made in heaven, although I would rather go to
another heaven.

■ Invite your Buddy Boss to everything. She is going to
come anyway. Trying to sneak events around a Buddy
Boss can be disastrous. She’ll be hurt if she finds out you
didn’t include her and you’ll be saddled with a sulking
boss, which would only appeal to a sadist.

■ Share information openly with her. This will make her
feel included. Sharing information openly is a sound organizational
practice. Remain mindful, though, that these
Will the Real Idiot Please Stand Up? 57
various boss personalities—with the exception of the
Good Boss—are not concerned first and foremost with
best practices. In a practical sense, you can bind up a
Buddy Boss to a degree by flooding her with information,
which in turn keeps her out of your way temporarily
while you try to work.

■ Request meetings. A Buddy Boss might enthusiastically
gather her chicks around her, but if it’s always at her
suggestion, she might eventually become annoyed and
even saddened. If you request a staff meeting at least
once per week, the time can be put to productive organizational
use and your Buddy Boss will be pleased that
you took the initiative. To her, it means you care. She’ll
gladly let you plan and conduct the meeting, which puts
the ball in your court to shape the environment.

■ Post pictures with her in them. Visual demonstrations
and reminders of her inclusion in all things will assure
her emotionally. Buddy Bosses are generally lonely people
and a little attention can go a long way. A departmental
bulletin board featuring photographs of her with various
groups of team members can fill the empty spaces diminishing
her need to bug you constantly.

■ Target e-mails and other correspondence to remind her
that she’s not alone. It doesn’t take very many words to
say, “Hi.” The “How are you doing?” is implied. Sending
pictures and funny stories to her e-mail address also promotes
her sense of inclusion. If you know her home email
address, include that on the cc line and make sure
the net of friendliness captures her wherever she is.

■ Beware the confessional. Your Buddy Boss will devote
endless hours to hearing your confessions and making
hers to you. This is a potential disconnect from getting
any appreciable work done. When a confession begins,
ask politely if you can hear it later because there are too
many pressing issues at that moment to give her your
complete and undivided attention. This is a true statement
and allows you more control over when you can be
distracted. She will be pleased with the anticipation of
your conversation.

■ Set time limits. When your Buddy Boss asks, “Do you
have a minute?” Tell her you have three. This behavior
modification technique is generally effective if applied
consistently. If every time she asks for your time, and
you set a limit, she will tend not to ask when her intention
is to engage you in an open-ended conversation.

Your Buddy Boss, if you can stand being around her, is not the
most intolerable department head or supervisor you can work for.
Getting along with her simply requires ignoring everything you’re being
paid to do and hanging out. Dedicated workers get hit the hardest
by Buddy Bosses because they must work nights and weekends to do
the things they would have done if they weren’t discussing news,
weather, and sports with their Buddy Bosses. You will probably just
need to suck it up and work around your Buddy Boss’ situation. With
luck, you might get transferred to an Idiot Boss.

 

HOW TO WORK FOR AN IDIOT SURVIVE & THRIVE… WITHOUT KILLING YOUR Boss Cap II: Chapter 2: Will the Real Idiot Please Stand Up? (By John Hoover) Part10
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