Do you need some insights on how to deal with a disorganized boss? Many professionals have heard about or have firsthand experience with this type of situation. It’s worth noting that while it can get EXTREMELY frustrating, you can actually turn it into a valuable life lesson and use it as an opportunity to expand your capabilities. Here are 3 tips for dealing with a disorganized boss.
1. The first thing you have to realize is that your boss has a particular realm of genius and that their disorganization has not limited their ability to be a manager...YOUR manager. They obviously know something that's worth learning. As you work with them, you need to appreciate whatever it is that they do well. This could be creating a solid vision for a company, being an outstanding leader, or any other advanced skill that they've mastered through education, specialized training, and/or many years of experience.
It may be the last thing you want to do right now, but it would be wise to turn this into an opportunity to HELP your boss. You should do this without resorting to underhanded tricks, manipulation, or acting just plain weird. By being the person who works closely with your boss, you can easily - and objectively - examine the situation and figure out a specific action plan.
Once you’re in the mindset of helping, it might be a little too easy to go overboard and become annoying rather than helpful. Whatever you do, NEVER try to prove you’re better than your boss. Not only will this tactic not go over very well, it might also get you into trouble. Especially, if the next point applies in your particular situation.
2. The person who hired your boss believed they were good at something despite their disorganization. As their subordinate, part of your responsibility is to adapt to your boss’s situation. One way to do this is to learn to lead by example. You can show your disorganized boss a few methods that help you achieve efficiency and keep things organized. Be open to providing examples of a few productivity hacks with them so that you create the opportunity for them to absorb the know-how.
Also, get everything in writing! This strategy is multipurpose - it helps with staying organized for both you and your boss, and with making sure you’re covering your tuckus in case something goes wrong. This means you'll have proof of what transpired in your meetings and that you’re only following directives to the best of your abilities. It gives you something to show the powers that be if any misunderstandings or miscommunications arise. Unfortunately, if your boss is disorganized, they’re probably not going to be able to help with remembering details when they're stuff is scattered all over the office.
Another thing to remember is to be more proactive. Don’t just let them take control. Make sure you’ve got all of your bases covered and take care of as much as you possibly can. This leads us to the final point...
3. You have a choice. You can stay and realize that you can’t control them. You only have control of yourself and your actions. Your other option is to leave. You always have a choice if it’s bad enough. If they’re driving you crazy, giving you anxiety (or an ulcer) it MIGHT just be time to say “Bye, Felicia!”
There you have it! If you are dealing with a disorganized boss, I hope these three tips help you take positive action and ultimately thrive in your career.
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