Solution Saturday: My Boss is up in my Business

I had a paranoid boss who only showed up when things might go wrong or projects had high visibility. (Bosses should show up during those times.) But, when things didn’t matter to her, it felt like I didn’t either.

I interpreted my boss’s questions as doubt in my ability. That’s about me.

curiosity inspires

To make matters worse, I’m independent and resist being told what to do. I’ll figure it out and get it done myself. I’m like the two year old who said, “I’m sitting on the outside. But, I’m standing on the inside.”

Curiosity inspires. Nosy is self-protective self-interest.

4 ways to deal with a nosy boss:

  1. Ask them what they need to know. The next time your nosy boss asks a question, kindly ask, “What do you need to know about that?”
  2. Ask them what’s important.
  3. Take the bull by the nose. Tell them what they need to know before they ask. Send a weekly update email. Report on progress, new initiatives, and what you’re currently working on. At the end, invite their input.
  4. Ask them for advice. Nosy bosses want to feel respected and involved.

5 positive behaviors for nosy leaders:

  1. Explain what matters most to you. It may be specific aspects of the business that others don’t appreciate. You may care about relationships between certain people.
  2. Show up when things are going well. Ask, “What’s working?” If they hate to see you coming, it’s because you’re a dark cloud.
  3. Practice mutual accountability; let go of controlling. People resist controlling leaders. Explain the topics and questions you’ll ask about at your next meeting. Stop blindsiding people.
  4. Teach people what matters by asking the same questions over and over. Others know how to prepare, when you ask the same questions.
  5. Monitor the impact of your presence. Your job is to inspire, not stress out.

What strategies for dealing with nosy bosses might you suggest?

How might leaders deal with being nosy?