If you read all the research about how people can no longer trust their bosses, you might wonder if there is anything that you can do to manage the situation.
Of course if you are devious and manipulative you probably already have but most people probably put up with it and just complain behind their boss’s back.
Not a healthy way to spend a good part of your life.
“Most business schools don’t teach anything about how to manage your boss, although it is a critical relationship,” says Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School.
“Maybe we don’t like talking about the fact that we do it, because people see ‘managing up’ as manipulating managers . . . but we should look at it instead as managing the relationship. Get it right and both your career and the company’s prospects should benefit.”
One way to approach this is by working with psychological profiles eg as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Knowing your own type and that of your colleagues and boss can pay dividends. Understanding the differences in communication style between people with Extravert and Introvert preferences, or Sensing and Intuitive preferences can make all the difference in a relationship.
The MBTI is claimed to be the most widely used psychometric tool for personal development and team building and well worth trying out.
An alternative but similar approach is to compare temperaments rather than types and this is an article on how to manage your boss based on the Keirsey Temperament measure.
The original version of this was posted on April 14 2010.