5 Common Types of Bosses (And How to Deal With Them)

My years of experience working for a financial company have led me to face many types of bosses. Some were very hard to deal with, but I was fortunate that I had mostly good ones to look after me. As I moved into sales and marketing, I noticed that bosses were particularly more inclined to build a good rapport with the sales guys.

angry boss

It may be because they thought that sales teams were the crux of a firm, and therefore, bosses made sure that the sales team members were well looked after. That doesn’t mean that the sales department had it all hunky-dory; it’s also the sales team members who had to bear the brunt of a boss’s wrath. When things don’t go their way, that’s where you come across the real side of the boss.

Managing Your Boss

Bosses (not leaders – there is a difference) are humans too and they have their preferences and dislikes and if you play your cards well, you will be able to work not only for them, but also with them. There have been employees I knew personally, who never performed that well, but still they manage to keep their jobs because they knew how to be in the boss’s good books.

Learning how to deal or manage your boss is a significant and transferable skill, and will indefinitely decide how far you progress. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all bosses in the world fall only into these 5 categories, but if yours does, I have suggestions on how you can stay in the organization.

1. The boss With the Superiority Complex

He loves screaming and he looks for opportunities to shout at others. A high-pitched boss has a superiority complex, and believes that others are wrong. A very edgy character by nature, he doesn’t like to dwell on a reason behind a problem, but instead takes solace from the fact that he has scolded someone, and hence, he has prevented the mistake from re-occurring. Many of you may have certainly come across such bosses.

angry boss

You will notice that they are also edgy in their appearance, not just by the way they talk, but also by the way they sit. Peep inside his office chamber, and you will find that he is always shifting in his seat. Even before he has said a word, he has already made you edgy and worried about what he is going to say next.

How to Deal with It:

Dealing with such bosses is easy only if you are prepared to take verbal blows from him. A high-pitched boss gets satisfaction from watching his subordinates take his nonsense. And if you can do exactly that, then you have dealt with him.

Never give an impression that you are fed up with taking his nonsense, the more you accept his verbal blows, the more he believes he is right.

By doing so, you will stay on his good side. But if you try to show that you are smarter than him by opposing him or getting into an argument with him, you perhaps risk your growth in the company and will probably do better with another type of boss.

2. The Boss who Brandishes his Power

He takes great pride in waving his power and authority around, not just in office but sometimes also at home. A power-brandishing boss loves wearing the mask of a boss, and believes that bosses are the highest-regarded professionals in the world.

He is overtly possessive of his post and always wants to give an impression that he is completely in control of the situation, even when in reality he is not.

He is insecure, and too preoccupied with trying to always have things under his control. At times, the employees may have committed mistakes, yet he pretends to have not seen them and says little of their mistakes.

How to Deal with It:

This type of boss gives significance to discipline, rather than performance, and is of the opinion that employees should be self-disciplined. His motto is that with discipline, employees will eventually perform.

Even if you find such bosses to be lenient, you should not break the rules too often; and even if you do so, make sure that you don’t bring it to his notice. Show him respect him, and make him feel that he is the big boss and you will be able to go about your duties undisturbed.

3. The Boss Who Doesn’t Belong

This boss gives you an impression that he has been thrown into a post that he is not fit for. This boss is possibly an employee in the company who had been promoted to be a ‘boss’ without the relevant qualities. He is someone management had to fall back on because there are no other options.

You will notice that half of his motivational speeches in office meetings will contain a list of his past achievements, and the rest is utter claptrap. He stresses a lot on performance, but lacks the management skills to get them. Employees may make fun of him behind is back even though in truth he is hardworking.

He tries to learn, and also makes amends if he has committed mistakes. Nonetheless, he lacks confidence and doesn’t stick to a plan especially when things do not work as planned.

How to Deal with It:

This type of boss will welcome advice that will help him get his bearings, and if you can offer him substantial help, you can easily befriend him. Just don’t expect him to be lenient in the office, he has a reputation to build and maintain and he can’t make any false moves, or tolerate mistakes by his team members.

Give it enough time and you find that he will eventually be a good boss as he is eager to learn and will collect the tricks of the trade with time.

4. The boss who Intimidates

An intimidating boss is a no-nonsense boss, aggressive by nature, and tries to get things done by issuing commands. He has an ego, and keeps it with him while he is in the office. Sometimes you will feel that he is trying to run the show as if he is running a criminal gang.

angry boss

On the one hand, he threatens his employees, but on the other hand, he doesn’t go overboard because he is insecure, and doesn’t wish to lose his effect on the employees.

He believes that too much of intimidation will lessen his grip on his employees, and that’s the reason he sometimes overlooks mistakes by his employees.He keeps to his own space, and is reserved by nature.

How to Deal with It:

The best way for employees to handle this boss would be to respect his privacy, and don’t interact with him unnecessarily. If you are smart enough, and know how to break his defences, you can even befriend him, and will be able to take some liberties in the office.

However, don’t go overboard otherwise, he’d also be the one who throws you out of the office.

5. The boss Who Excels and Influences

Ideally, he is the best boss to have running a company as he handles both the management and his employees efficiently. The company prefers such bosses because they have positive vibes about themselves, and make the company believe that they can produce results even in the midst of a crisis.

They are not particularly harsh on employees, but they mean business. Not all influential bosses are inspiring, but they have the guile to make others perform to their limits. An influential boss is highly professional, and expects employees to behave similarly.

How to Deal with It:

Dealing with him is never a problem if you perform your duties well enough. However, beware of such bosses, as they are highly determined to rise in the hierarchy. If he feels that you are a threat to his goals, he will have you removed from the company.

An influential boss also forms his own core group, even within the same organization, who may inform him of what happens in the office while he is away. Therefore, be careful and mind your own business, and you will always stay in his good books.


We may not have the luck of working with good leaders but we indefinitely have to work with a boss, the head of an organization or the manager of a group of workers. They get groups of people to do things that contribute to the company objectives and at the end of the day, employees don’t leave jobs or organizations, they leave their bosses.

So what is your boss like, and how do you deal with your boss?


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