Establish a rapport. “Overtly confronting a controller boss is risky.” If you value your job, build a relationship before discussing thorny topics. Demanding bosses reward loyalty, so “accept your role as the reliable soldier and demonstrate support.” Use the connection you build to study the boss’s “willingness to receive feedback.”
Make sure you’re on the same page. Control freaks “often give vague or incomplete instructions,” so it’s up to you to “clearly define goals and time frames up front” to avoid being reprimanded later. Controller bosses expect results, so deliver on time and exceed expectations.
Flatter lightly. Controller bosses value compliments, but they’re “sensitive to false praise.” Keep appreciations “short and specific,” and look for chances to praise your boss for putting trust in you or others.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.