You may have had such a boss during your career, or maybe you are one yourself! Here are some of the characteristics.
1.) It is very hard to have a quality discussion or debate with such a person. They seem to never have time for you, and when you finally get in to see the person, you get the feeling they are anxious to get you out of the office so they can get on to something important.
2.) A cold prickly boss typically acts like the judge and jury for whatever topic you are bringing up, and they generate the vibes that you are really not on top of your job. This behavior, coupled with their anxiousness to get you out of their office, causes you to rush and to not do a quality job in explaining your views and getting their agreement.
3.) You get the feeling that they are always evaluating you, versus getting into the mode of coach and explaining how they are thinking about an issue and comparing notes with you concerning your views and reasoning on the topic.
So…what are the things you should remember to do with your direct reports to avoid being a cold prickly boss?
1.) Have regular meetings, once a week or so, even if they are short and you are simply checking in to see what is going on and how you might be able to help.
2.) Don’t pack your schedule so tight that you can’t make time on any particular day to meet with direct reports or other individuals that need to see you on short notice. This means priority setting is very important.
3.) Always listen carefully and probe for understanding, and don’t rush to judgment, but make sure the direct report is taking responsibility for their work.
If you are working for such a boss, make several attempts to voice your concerns. If it doesn’t work, start looking around for a new job inside the company or outside. Face reality; you are working for a jerk!