Timing Helps with Bad Bosses


When workplace frustrations seem overwhelming because of a cranky, bad or childish boss, a.k.a., a Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT), you can quit – or decide what you want and go for it. If you like your job and are up for the challenge, then here’s my advice—focus on getting your timing right.

As TOT readers know, and as explained in Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant™ (TOT): How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job, getting your toddlers and boss to listen to you often requires the same principles—and one is good timing.

As national career columnist Joyce Lain Kennedy mentions in her article Dealing with a bad boss isn’t easy for hamptonroads.com, and VIVMag.com states, both bad bosses and children behave in strikingly similar ways. Also see the Boston Globe’s hilariously pictorial pages of these TOT behaviors at Boston.com (in fact, you can go ahead and vote and view results).

Toddlers throw tantrums, scream “No!” and can be stubbornly demanding. Badly behaving bosses can have sudden angry outbursts, and say “No!” without any apparent reason.

Knowing how to tame your TOT will give you control and help you get what you want out of your job; and timing is critical. That includes staying out of the line of fire, as mentioned in my interview with career luminary  Tory Johnson on GMA/ABC-News for “The Job Club.”

As a young mother, I learned that it was highly unwise to take my two tykes down the candy isle when it was feeding time. Taking your boss down the cubicle aisle at 11:30 a.m. while trying to get project approval? – also a bad idea.

To avoid a boss’s tantrum, plan ahead. You’ve schedule an afternoon meeting, so make sure there are high protein snacks available. They help regulate blood sugar. If you go for the sugary snacks, then you are just adding to the blood spiking problem, which will result in a later crash and fatigue. It can bring out Demanding, Fearful and other TOT inclinations (i.e., the worst in anyone.) See my regular blogs on Psychology Today, including one on Demanding bosses.

Remember to use timing to your advantage. Both you and your boss will be healthier for it. Also, try to plan meetings for earlier in the day when everyone is fresh and mental activity is up and running. Be fully prepared and confident in your skills, secure in your work achievements, and then put your timing plan to work.

With your good timing plan in hand (or securely in your head) you can tame you Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT) and work comfortable in the office playground. For more details on timing and TOTs, order the book at Amazon, Barnes&Noble.com or Borders.

P.S. I thoroughly enjoyed my interview today with Terri Trespicio, the host of SIRIUS Radio “Martha Stewart Whole Living.” (Visit TameYourTOT.com to listen.) She is a real pro and knew precisely what the book and topic was about; a lot of fun! Great caller questions, too.