I recently heard of a boss who had been given the nickname 27 after a sweet and sour dish at the local Chinese restaurant the team frequented on a Friday’s after work. So called because you never knew quiet what mood you were going to get with him. Sweet or Sour. You learned to pick your moments.
A grumpy boss is not as difficult to work for as one who takes pleasure in your discomfort at trying to second guess their thinking. When you work for a good boss you know what their expectations are you don’t get criticised for failing to do something you didn’t know until that moment was your responsibility. And if you express surprise the response will be ,” well who did you think would do it?”
A good boss spells out the priorities, where you should put most effort, which tasks should be undertaken first, identifies the most important targets. And if the priorities change you are informed in advance not after the event.
A good boss has a set of values that inform how they operate for example in dealing with customers /clients they might believe choice was very important, this might also be reflected in how they feel employees should be empowered. The may feel that integrity and trust are crucial in relationships and should not be jeopardised for short term gains. Or they may take the view that the end justifies the means, the most pragmatic solution is the one to follow and decisions are ultimately financially driven. What’s important is that they are consistently held believes not ones that change as soon as pressure is brought to bear .
A bad boss constantly puts you in a position where you have to guess what they expect you to say and do. As a result you find yourself fudging a response or admitting you don’t know your boss’s position either way you come over as incompetent. Alternatively you go with how they responded in the past only for your boss to be incredulous that you should think that and complain that you have put them in a difficult position because in fact they do/don’t support this or would/ wouldn’t welcome an approach.
The worst boss is the one with unpredictable moods, unpredictable views and unpredictable behaviour and thinks you’re at fault.