Partner with your boss who may be “too nice” to be efficient
Dealing with Difficult Bosses
Workplace relationships are a tricky thing. You spend so much time together and are expected to work together to produce results in spite of your different working styles. Dealing with colleagues may be slightly easier because you could outright confront your differences and ways of compromise through open discussion.
Doing so with your boss is slightly more challenging. You usually need to conform to his style of doing things, or risk his or her bad impression of you. Talking about how to work better would likely be seen as a challenge of power or symptom of disrespect.
These few weeks, we have been focusing on typical difficult boss Enneagram types and how to deal with them. If you see some of these traits in your boss, it might be time to stop begrudging him or her, and take on my advice to improve your work relationship. In my last post, we looked at a type 8 boss, the prideful boss. This week, we get a glimpse into why the type 9 boss can be too nice and how you can overcome this.
Traits of Type 9 Bosses – The Boss that is “Too Nice”
Type 9s are peacemakers. As bosses, they are one of the good ones. They are very diplomatic and accepting, but in a work setting, this might be counter productive. They may be “too nice” and may not be decisive. They dislike making unpopular or hard decisions because they want to avoid looking bad by shutting anyone down.
Dealing with Type 9 Bosses
1. Help him make decisions effectively
It is heartwarming to have a boss who listens intently to what you have to say and values your opinion. It is without a doubt that he can make well informed decisions because he is able to see things from everyone’s perspective, being empathetic to each person’s needs. However it definitely slows progress on any decisions that have to be swiftly made. He may struggle or procrastinate in making a difficult decision that could upset others.
In order to encourage him to quickly establish his stand and his decision as to what is to be done, you could remind him of the course of action to be taken or suggest possibilities to tackle a decision at hand. By constantly stimulating his thought process on the decision needed to be made, such as by offering different options with pros and cons or proposing a timeline to remind them of the task to be done, you can help your boss make decisions more effectively.
2. Be a source of motivation
Your boss is a sensitive person which may not always be a good attribute to have. Just like a sponge, he absorbs the surrounding energy regardless of whether it is positive or negative. The environment he is in adversely affects his mood and may cause him to make biased decisions. Ensure a balance of energy and opinions in the room such as listing the pros and cons of a decision. This would create an optimal environment for your boss to make a well thought out and calculated decision despite being bombarded by the emotions of those around him.
In times where a difficult decision has been made, your boss may be bothered about the effect it may have on those who had disagreed with him, or have become upset by the decision. Shed light onto the positive outcomes from that difficult decision, redirecting and motivating his attention towards more productive work.
3. Building relationships with them is easy
The people person that your boss is makes it easy to be on good terms with him. Being able to put himself in the shoes of others and seeing from their perspective allows for an open discussion to reach an optimal decision with his team. There is no need to be afraid of voicing your difference in opinions but he would be grateful if you oppose his decision with kindness. By respecting the peaceful environment he created by always calmly discussing a matter could help him appreciate your point of view better. This is compared to an uncomfortable, heated discussion that could divert the attention away from reaching a decision objectively.
Your boss may also be unsure about how receptive the team is to his leadership and ideas. Building a relationship is a two way street which requires your effort as well. By giving credit and appreciation to good or beneficial decisions made can reassure him of his leadership in the team. Knowing that his team enjoys working with him will allow him to enjoy himself as well! This comfortable environment makes it especially beneficial in trusting each other in working towards an optimal decision together.