Author: Gonzague Dufour

Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0071751933, 222 pages


A stressed-out manager often results in stressed-out employees. You can have a more positive, productive professional life if you understand your supervisors and handle them according to their personality profiles. Human resources executive Gonzague Dufour identifies and explains the six common managerial types. He devotes most chapters to profiling these archetypes, listing identifying traits according to professional tactics that work or don’t work for each manager in specific situations, such as asking for a raise or dealing with a crisis. While many managers manifest characteristics from more than one boss type, and not all leaders are so easy to categorize, you will find yourself nodding in agreement with many of the author’s points. getAbstract recommends this practical, useful book to entry- and mid-level employees, as well as to higher-level executives who wonder, “Am I a good boss?”

What kind of manager is your boss?

Employees who understand and work well with their supervisors flourish in their jobs. Look for your boss among six common managerial types: “the Bully, the Good, the Kaleidoscope, the Star, the Scientist” and “the Navel.” If you’re lucky, your boss is a rare “Seventh Leader,” who can adapt and learn from others. Each boss type has positive and negative attributes you can learn to manage.

The bully

As the name suggests, “bully” bosses are competitive, aggressive, driven and confident. Bullies motivate their employees with fear and intimidation. They aren’t afraid to question or criticize others, including their own bosses. Bullies micromanage. Many people like working for tmen because they reward ambitious people who deliver results.

Never take a bully’s comments personally. Instead, find humor in situations; “limit the pain, target the gain.” Set a time limit on how long you will work for a bully. To handle them, avoid surprises and keep them “in the loop.” Develop an area of expertise they lack, do the jobs they hate and stand up to them.

When dealing with a bully, remain calm. Be adaptable. Learn to be subtle. If a bully confronts you, turn the tables by asking rhetorical questions or suggesting alternative solutions. Regularly change the technique you use when you respond so bullies can’t categorize you.

The good

“Good” managers are competent at their jobs. They’re reasonable, efficient, stable and predictable. Good managers believe in moderation and remain patient in stressful situations. They don’t think outside the box or take risks, and they avoid confrontation. Good managers ignore office politics and are poor networkers. Manage good bosses by doing their dirty work and taking the risks they avoid.

Good bosses do not respond well to games, and they don’t like unpredictable, inconsistent or phony people. Be the indispensable worker good managers can count on, and they will keep you in mind for promotion.

The kaleidoscope

“Kaleidoscopes” are difficult to understand because their personalities shift in different situations. A kaleidoscope may be sweet and sensitive to customers, direct and challenging to employees, indifferent to co-workers, or any combination of these.

Kaleidoscope managers “possess self-confidence bordering on arrogance.” They manipulate people to gain power, and they expect others to do the same. They are intelligent and have reasons for their actions, but they will never share their justifications with you.

Despite these foibles, you can still manage the kaleidoscope chameleon…

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