Dealing with a boss who is disruptive requires lots of tact, patience, levelheadedness and street-smartness. A boss is a boss whether you like it that way or not, whether he is co-operative or disruptive. Rubbing at the wrong side of the boss should be avoided at all costs but coaxing, manipulating, diverting and subverting a boss are all acceptable practices as long as you are smart enough!
A disruptive boss may act in several ways and you should have appropriate tactics to ward off his trouble. Here are some cases and some suggestions:
1) Disrupting your work by conducting unwanted meetings
Many bosses have so much idle time that in order to keep themselves engaged, they conduct meetings. Many bosses would like to call all and sundry to the meetings and review matters with each one of them when others in the meeting may have nothing to contribute.
One tactic you can try is to ask a sub-ordinate before hand to give a call to you after a predetermined time when your role in the meeting would normally be over. It could be in the guise of a customer waiting meet you; it could be about some urgent information that the head office seeks from you “immediately”.
Pretend that it is an emergency and request your boss to excuse you and permit you to leave the meeting!
2) Disrupting your work by calling for a one-to-one discussion
If you are quite sure that the call is not meant to be on any serious issue but just a ploy for the boss to idle away his time, tell him that you will come and meet him in the next half an hour (or at a time just before lunch) . Don’t give him any reason until he insists. Your voice should express a feeling as though you are very busy on a very important task; it should deter him from asking the reason!
3) Your boss comes to your seat and wastes your time
This is an extremely difficult situation. Some tactics to get rid of the boss under the situation requires good acting skills. You can seek his excuse to visit the toilet as you have some uneasy rumbling at your stomach. You can call your sub-ordinate to your seat, start discussing some problems or issues and drag the time. Your boss may get bored and leave the seat. You can pretend as though you have given an appointment to somebody at his office and seek excuse to leave the place. Go to the canteen, and return after a while. There is a danger in this tactic. You idle boss too may be visiting the canteen to kill his time, once you dispose him off!
4) Your boss frequently changes your work in hand and wants you to do something else
Do what he says and put the blame on your boss at appropriate time and at appropriate place when things go awry. “I did only as per your instructions” should be your refrain.
We can go on and on discussing various tactics this way. But the important point to be noted is that you should be confident and manipulative enough to do things in your own way keeping the tasks and priorities as demanded by your work. But you should make your boss feel as though whatever you are doing or not doing is exactly as per his directions!