Need some help in dealing with a new boss (hired from the outside 60 days ago) who displays what I perceive as negative behaviors. Lack of eye contact, engrossed in the laptop (during meetings they organized or attend), lack of communication (about 20 minutes of conversation in the past 60 days), always late to meetings and leaves early, and zero interest in all but one reporting department. More than one peer has stated that they feel like they are talking to a brick wall during the weekly staff meeting. 

Have been attempting to figure out a DISC model that works best, have listened to "how to ask for basic feedback" as well as "Boss One-on-One" and "Dealing with difficult bosses" with zero positive progress. Outside of providing feedback to my boss (yeah... listened to that podcast too), what are your recommendations?


ashdenver's picture

Depending on where you work, you may find yourself working for a different person a year or six months from now.  Whether they get shuffled to only work with that one department or the boss's boss figures things out or you transfer to a new job, department or division, I say just wait it out. That said, if this person is so engrossed in their laptop and avoids eye contact, it could be that your best approach to working effectively with them is via email and instant messaging, if available. Mirror his or her approach to communications in that regard but still hold yourself to timely arrivals, pay attention during meetings, make eye contact with others, etc.

epetz's picture

Ashdenver - Thank you for thoughts and taking time to respond back. Your views are in line with that of my dad's (47 years at one company and 2 weeks away from retirement). His comment was "Son, I have seen them come and go... just wait them out."

Again, thank you for the comments.

katehorstman's picture
Admin Role Badge

Im sorry to hear that you're struggling with this situation. Have you listened to "My Boss is Angry" and "Bad Boss #1- The Angry and Demeaning Boss" casts? These might be hlepful. 
I agree that mirroring your boss' communication style is a good idea. It sounds like your boss is a D or C. I might suggest getting to the Effective Relationships casts. These will suggest communication tools for each of the direct and manager DISC profiles. 
Unfortunately, you cannot manage or control your boss' behavior. You can only control your own. As a direct, your results are paramount. Keep delivering. Finding out your boss' goals (mentioned in the Boss One on One cast) might help you feel as though you can succeed in spite of the things you mentioned. If you and your boss are moving towards the same goal it might alleviate some of the anxiety around their behaviors. 
Keep in mind too that this person might be overwhelmed by their new role or struggling to keep up. They might come out of it! It might be that all you can do is deliver, and attempt to minimize the daily impact of their behavior on your ability to do so. Its hard, but were here with you! 
I hope things get better soon.

epetz's picture

Wanted to provide some follow up information 6 months later....

I was notified at the start of new year that the department I managed would be reoganized under a new Vice President. My new boss is someone I am familiar with but have not had the opportunity to work with on a daily/weekly basis. Within two weeks of the reorganization and with the support of my boss I was presenting the state of my department to senior leadership and the president. I was able to highlight the achievements, challenges, and show how the department could help the business. 

Overall this has been a tremendous learning experience. This experience hammered home the point of how critical it is to build an effective relationship between a boss and direct. Second was a practical lesson in "Getting Out Of The Box" by The Arbinger Institude. 

Thank you to The Management Tools & Career team as well as the forum participants in helping me through this situation and coming out the other side a more educated person.