Re: need suggestions on handling a boss

Subject: Re: need suggestions on handling a boss
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 15:53:31 -0500

> For example, today I was to write procedures for a process that I didn't
> really know except for one meeting that I attended. She said that I left
> out half the stuff that we talked about in the meeting, but she didn't tell
> me what it was that I left out, but that I was to give her another draft by
> tomorrow morning. She doesn't want me to talk to the people who do the
> process, because she doesn't want me to bother them -- they're busy. When I
> ask her questions about it, she told me to put in what I knew and she would
> fill in the gaps.

Issues found:
* vague criticism
* micromanagement
* siloed work approach
* hero complex

> Of course, I wasn't given the material to prep for the meeting, so a lot of
> what they talked about in the meeting went over my head.

Issue found:
* information breakdown

> I have tried talking to her about this before, and she told me that I was
> argumentative. Or she just freaks out and then tells me to come to her if I
> have questions, that she knows the process. Well, she is so busy, that I
> can't get her to sit down with me. I mean, if she has to sit with me and go
> over it, she might as well write them herself.

Issues found:
* emotional deflection
* hypertentive reaction
* hero complex
* stilted importance (re. availability)

> So now I have this major deliverable for tomorrow morning, and I don't know
> what or how I am supposed to put it together.
> I have written a lot of procedure docs before, but I always sat down with
> the person, or went through the steps to do it on my own. I feel like I am
> having to write it with being deaf and blind.
> Any suggestions?

Analysis complete......

You are indeed stuck between a rock and a hard place. As others have
mentioned, it's near impossible to change someone else, and you're
being actively kept from changing the situation yourself. Your boss is
using you as a way of validating her own expertise and importance,
likely to herself and only herself. This issue is an emotional one,
and you are unfortunately not in a place to combat it.

My advice: do the best you can, and note the reactions. Then take
everything you've written here and lay it out in a professional manner
for you and your boss to discuss. If you can't get an audience with
her, take it to HR. You have nothing to lose as you are being set up
to fail, either intentionally or as a result of some emotional issues
plaguing your boss. There's a definite need to prove (at least to
herself) that she and only she is capable of doing things correctly.
You do not want to remain on the tail end of that. If you can't change
the situation, change jobs.

Bill Swallow

Twitter: @techcommdood

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