Doers Work Around Dysfunction


Doers accept that workplace dysfunction is commonplace, so they learn to work within the confines of what is possible. While you consider a specific situation in which to practice your Doer skills think about how you would respond to a boss who displays any of these dysfunctional behaviors:

  • The upwardly focused who don’t care about you.
  • The glib and nimble who have more charm than substance.
  • The in-over-their-heads who won’t ask for help.
  • The technocrats who can impress, but can’t deliver.
  • The deadwood who thrive on mediocrity.
  • The change-obsessed who smoother you with nutty ideas.
  • The bureaucrats who hold strictly to the rules.
  • The chicken hearts who won’t make a decision.

As difficult as it might be you need to learn how to work with a boss who demonstrates behaviors like those above. Your employer expects it of you and so do those who look to you for leadership.

There are multiple stressors in any job, so why put up with a dysfunctional boss as well? If you decide that the situation is hopeless, then you need to get out. On the other hand, if you chose to stay put, you have three options for working with a dysfunctional boss:

  1. Grin and bear it, look the other way and tolerate the situation as best you can. After all, neither you nor your boss will be there forever which means that your circumstance could change over time.
  2. Make an effort to change the boss’s behavior by confronting him or her directly. If that fails, try approaching someone higher up the chain of command who could speak to your boss on your behalf.
  3. Change the way you respond and react. That not only makes the most sense and offers the least risk, but it also affords you the luxury of quietly experimenting with a variety of methods at your own pace.

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