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Beware the Office Ghouls: Spooky Traits to Watch Out for in Management & How to Overcome Them

Oct 26, 2023 06:54 PM
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Boo! It's that time of the year when the ghosts and goblins come out to play, and the office is no exception. While we love a good scare during Halloween, there's one place we'd rather keep free from frights – the workplace. But beware, for lurking among your colleagues, you may encounter some spine-tingling, bone-chilling traits in your managers that are scarier than any haunted house. In this blog post, we'll explore the hair-raising characteristics to look out for in your boss, making your work life a little spookier (but not in a good way). 

The Phantom Micromanager:

Picture this: you're diligently working at your desk when you suddenly feel a cold breath on your neck. You turn around, and there's your manager, hovering like a ghost, scrutinizing your every move. If your boss micromanages every aspect of your work, they've got the haunting "Phantom Micromanager" trait. They're the ones who won't let you breathe without their approval. Their obsession with control can give you goosebumps and make your job a living nightmare.

Tips to Deal with The Phantom Micromanager: 

When dealing with a micro-manager try to understand their perspective and ask probing questions to see if there are ways you can manage-up so that they do not feel the need to be persistently checking-in on your work and guiding it. Keep the lines of communication open so that they understand the type of space you need to do your work and how you work optimally for the best possible outcome - ahem, the one both you and they are seeking!!! If all else fails, seek a private conversation to address how you're feeling and how the micro-management is hindering your work abilities. If that still doesn't work, you may require a third-party within the business, a mediator, to speak with you both and remedy the management style issue alongside you.

The Zombie Deadliner

Ever had a manager who assigns you tasks and then vanishes into the abyss, only to reappear when the deadline has passed, like a zombie rising from the grave? These "Zombie Deadliners" are experts at procrastination and can transform any project into a blood-curdling rush to meet last-minute deadlines. Watch out for them – they might just make you lose your sanity! 

Tips to Deal with a Zombie Deadliner:

Again, try and see their perspective, it rarely fails and is crucial in a work environment where everyone thinks different and operates on a unique level to achieve their best. Recognizing this, if you feel that you are being delegated tasks, or working alongside someone to reach a milestone, and the deadlines are unclear or aims are a disappearing act - address it and work to clarify how it is influencing your ability to work successfully. Sometimes people get overwhelmed and don't even know that their work style is negatively impacting others.

The Vampire Energy Drainer

Vampires don't just come out at night – some of them lurk in the daylight too! "Vampire Energy Drainers" are managers who seem to feed off your energy and enthusiasm. They drain your life force with endless meetings, tedious reports, and relentless demands, leaving you feeling like a lifeless, hollowed-out shell. 

Tips to Deal with an Energy Drainer:

Sometimes people have things going on in their personal lives that influence how they interact with others and not always in a positive, uplifting, energizing way. If you are feeling drained by someone on your team try to de-personalize it and recognize it likely has little to do with you. Next up, if that fails for you, is to address it - maybe have a coffee with that person and gently bring up the feeling that there is a lack of synergy between your communication styles that you'd like to fix. If all else fails, ask for a mediator within your team to help guide you both to a more momentous place.

The Werewolf (Mood Swinger)

Howling at the moon one moment, and docile as a lamb the next – if your manager's mood swings are unpredictable, you might be dealing with a "Werewolf Mood Swinger." One day they're jovial and approachable, and the next, they're snarling and irritable. This unpredictability can leave you walking on eggshells and fearing their next transformation. 

Tips for Dealing with a Werewolf Co-worker:

Keep in mind that they may be feeling a full scope of human emotions, which is a very human thing, and have empathy for this person. If seeing it from that perspective isn't helping, try to talk to them about it. If that fails...again...find a mediator on your team who can help lead you both to more predictable, less moody pastures.

The Mummy of Communication

Wrapped in layers of ancient bandages, the "Mummy of Communication" is your manager who seems allergic to regular, clear communication. They bury essential information under layers of jargon and vague instructions, making it feel like deciphering an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph. It's not a fun archaeological dig when you're trying to understand their expectations. 

Tips for Dealing with A Mummy of Communication Colleague:

Eek! This is a tough one. Dealing with those who dislike clear communication, or aren't good at it, puts the onus on you to level-up and overcommunicate.  The language you choose and the formats you use to communicate your message need to be multiple - don't just say it, email it or Slack or Teams it as a follow-up. If it isn't working you will need to address it - seeing a constant theme in this blog post? 

While Halloween is a time for fun and thrills, the traits of scary managers are no joke. They can turn your workplace into a haunted house of stress and frustration. But fear not, for you can always wield the torch of professionalism and speak up when you encounter these chilling characteristics. With open communication, you can help your manager leave their spooky traits behind and transform into a more approachable, effective leader. After all, work should be a treat, not a trick..... ;)