Bosses come in many varieties, all with unique strengths and weaknesses. Here are some  of the most common types of bosses. Do you recognise yourself, or someone you know?

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Type of Boss

D = Dominance I = Influence S = Steadiness C = Compliance


 The Friend

This type of boss wants to be liked, and usually avoids conflict. She/He is likely to let problems or incorrect behavior drag on until is forced to deal with it.


 The Miracle

Fun, supportive, capable, and inspiring, this type of boss is truly an employee’s dream come true. He does what he says, always follows up, and usually can push you to do your best in a way that makes the hardest work seem like play. If you’re working for The Miracle you’ll know it, from the smile on your face at the end of the day to your rewarding paycheck at the end of the week. Just try not to brag too much!


 The Screamer

This Type of boss has a short fuse that will explode at the drop of a hat. Whether something has to be explained, rectified or dismissed, they do not believe that the message has been conveyed until a certain threshold of their voice is reached. In the worst cases, they may shout at you in front of others which can be rather humiliating. They thrive on their employees’ fear of them to get the work done. Nothing is too much for them and they can have no pity on anyone if the work does not match up to their expectations. Shouting to people is a habit for them and if they can’t respect their employees, they don’t deserve it either.


 The Bully

If your boss is a bully, it’s their way. They often use a threatening tone and intimidation techniques in order to get their way and don’t mind belittling you in front of other employees.

TIP. How to Deal – Stand up for yourself, make your voice heard and put your foot down when necessary. Bosses who are bullies will usually respect you if you lay down the law because you’re speaking their language. Make your arguments in a respectful way and most will listen when you present yourself as a voice of reason but don’t keep things inside. Talk.


 The Perfectionist

A micromanager is a perfectionist. This boss is involved in everything you do. This is even worse than the nitpicker because they will try to control all of your work, rather than pieces of it. If your boss is a micromanager, it is important not to take their over-involvement personally. Don’t let a micromanager take your motivation away. Instead, recognize that it’s going to happen and do the best you can.


 Everybody’s Friend

If you’ve seen Michael Scott from ‘The Office’, you know this type.  Totally avoids conflict and making unpopular decisions.  This is a deeply insecure person who desperately needs to be liked.  Workplaces with EF managers are usually chaotic (like The Office) because the manager won’t hold people accountable and will tolerate just about any bad behavior.  The people with the strongest personalities in these workplaces will take over, and may become the de facto managers if they are willing to make decisions.


 The Procrastinator

The self-aware procrastinator is simply not very organized and recognizes it.  These managers are usually open to conversations about how to get things done more quickly. This type of boss is terrified of making the wrong decision.  As a result, no decision will be made until half the people on earth have been consulted or voluminous amounts of information have been analyzed.

Since you know decisions will take a long time, factor that into the timeline for any project.  If your boss likes a lot of input, consult his favorite sources (human or informational) in advance and summarize the results before asking for a decision.  With major projects or critical decisions, don’t ask for complete approval up front.  Get your boss’s okay on the initial action steps, then go back for subsequent approvals as needed. 


 The Leader

I purposely didn’t use the word “leader” in the previous paragraphs. It’s because the word leader is reserved for the ideal boss. I don’t even want to call a good boss as boss but as a leader. The leader is a person who has the ability to encourage, motivate, inspire, guide, teach, follow and so forth. He is just the guy you look up to and hope to become someday. He has a balanced approach towards leadership and management. When the going gets tough, you can be sure he is there for the team. Productivity is crucial to him but without sacrificing popularity. Meaning his decisions may not be agreeable to a few because it is best for the many. This type of boss is easy to get along.


No matter what types of boss you have, there is always a way to succeed under their management. You can learn from anyone. In addition to identifying your boss’ leadership style, try to understand his/her values and principles. This assessment will allow you to anticipate what you can expect from him or her, and also to draw the line on where you will adapt to his/her style, and when you will need to stand and say No.


How about you? How do you get along with your boss?

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Myriam Balerio is the founder and writer of PA Privé. After kick starting her career as a PA and finding success as an assistant, Myriam later trained in digital and online marketing and has since combined the two disciplines in creating PA Privé, the platform through which she provides sage advice for those in the assistant profession and a network for like-mined PAs and EAs to connect. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Myriam has lived in London for over 10 years and currently lives in London with her husband and French bulldog.


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