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Stanley Bing

How to deal with your crazy boss

Fortune's Stanley Bing shares his take on the five types of crazy bosses, and some strategies for dealing with one, from "Crazy Bosses" (Harper Collins).

The paranoid
Silence confounds them.
Rationale: It's very hard to keep on dribbling a basketball that refuses to bounce. Self-justification at length when he's in your face will prove ineffective. Countervailing argumentation on the silliness of his fears or accusations will only make him suspect you. Displays of rage or resentment on your part will only give him what he wants - control over the interpersonal dynamic between you. It's far better to nod and look thoughtful until the storm blows over. Inconsistency has its positive side, too. The guy eventually will exhaust himself and kick you out of his office (for the time being) when he senses that he's not getting the return on emotional investment his outburst called for.

Effectiveness: High. If you absolutely must comment on a particular raving, think of something bland. "Gee, Andy. I had no idea things had developed along those lines" should do. Then just sit there, looking stupid. Glance at your watch.

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Is your boss heading for a self-made disaster? Scared of his own shadow? Just plain weird? Share your insane workplace story.
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