Twice in my career I’ve had to work for an insecure boss. Hands down, the worst, most soul crushing five years of my life.
When you have an insecure boss, their lack of self-confidence taints everything. They are controlling and vindictive.
They probably need therapy, but save leaving your copy of Psychology Today in the lunch room, there’s not much you can do about that.
Insecure leaders are entirely unpredictable. If you catch them in a moment when they are feeling confident, they can be friendly, capable, and supportive.
But the moment something triggers their insecurity, watch out!
That’s when they get defensive and petty. It’s never going to be fun to work for an insecure boss, but here’s what you can do to survive.
If you’re working for an insecure boss, you’re going to get yelled at, set straight, and micromanaged.
Your first reaction might be to see this as a reflection of your lack of ability. When you question yourself and wonder what you could possibly be doing wrong, don’t exclude the possibility that the only thing you’re doing wrong is threatening your boss with your strong performance.
Take heart, if your insecure boss hates you, it’s probably because you’re good.
Keep a positive mindset and stay centered in your own self-esteem. Never let a boss rock your belief in yourself.
Triggering your boss’ insecurity is going to create misery for both of you.
Instead, find ways to let your boss feel that he is in control. Where you have success, make him a part of it. “Thanks so much for the discussion last week; it really got my ideas flowing.” Where you think change is necessary, use language that shows you respect your boss’ power and position. “We need to change how we interact with the marketing team. How are you thinking about our relationship with them?”
The author is NYT Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Ph.D. Organizational Psychology, Conflict Doctor. This article was first published on Medium