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Working with a chronic complaining boss

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

Chronic complainers can kill mo­­rale, hurt productivity and drive you nuts. Linda Swindling, author of Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers, identifies five types of complaining bosses and explains how to handle them:

  • The whiner. She wants to make a connection and get some empathy. Listen a little, empathize and then ask what solutions she has in mind.
  • The complicator. He’s seeking calm and stability and may appear as a micromanager. Recognize his expertise, slow down your approach and offer him suggestions to advance a project.
  • The prima donna. She wants attention and recognition. Help her get positive recognition and look good to others.
  • The controller. He wants to take action and make accomplishments. Be assertive, stand your ground and demonstrate progress without being aggressive.
  • The toxic. She’s seeking to further a self-absorbed agenda. Protect yourself from possible retaliation by keeping records, seeking help from a trusted advisor and transferring to another team as soon as possible.

— Adapted from “Interview: Dealing with Complainers Who Sap Workplace Productivity,” Anita Bruzzese, Intuit’s The Fast Track blog.

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