✔ The Split Personality. Sometimes she’ll kick off her stilettos and gab with you about haircuts and boyfriends. But when she gets angry, her screams can be heard from across the office.
Management strategy: Sit beside her when she’s involved in a passive activity, like scanning the newspapers. Put your hand on her arm, and as you feel her muscles relax a bit, say “It seems like something’s on your mind. Can I get you something?” If she won’t open up, don’t pry, but keep the physical connection. If she does spill, just listen so she knows how much it means for her to share it with you.
✔ The Cult Leader. Her dazzling charisma and passion for your project motivate you to work extremely hard — commuting to the office on weekends, answering text messages at one (1) a.m. Then one morning, the alarm clock rings and you can’t do anything except pull the covers over your head.
Management strategy: Set boundaries. No more answering emails on a Saturday night, or keeping your cellphone strapped to your waist. Talk to her about getting help with your workload — if she’s as worthy of your worship as you think, she’ll listen.
✔ The Micromanager. No details is too tiny for her to stress — from the sandwiches you order for the monthly meeting (whole-wheat or ciabatta bread?) to the font size of your recent memo (12-point Helvetica? 10-point Arial?). She constantly requests status reports, even for the most modest project. You want to show your boss that you make great decisions, but she rarely allows you to go out for lunch.
Management strategy: Give the problem back to her. She’s the one who wants to control everything, so let her control this. Try saying: “I know it’s very important to get things right, but I’d like to relieve you of some of the more minor details, since you have more important things to worry about. What’s your advice?”