Working with someone with different personality types can be challenging by itself. Working with a manager who has more power than a peer and who has control on how much you get paid and your opportunities for advancement can seem to be a Journey of Impossibility. Research still indicates the #1 reason people leave their jobs is due to their manager who is bullying, invades privacy and other disparaging behaviors. Before you become frustrated and turn in your two week notice, try at least one of these six ways to work with a quiet boss:
1) Quiet the internal chatter and release the critical voice of judgment. Our natural reaction to experiencing differences tends to be negative. Quieting the negative chatter is the first thing to opening your mind to possibilities of a professional relationship. It gives you pause and will help you appreciate and see the positive in the “introvert” personality type.
2) Understand your own personality preferences first. There are many quick tutorials on line to complete or you may want to invest in your own personality assessment. The introverted part of your boss may not be just the social aspect but may be his or her way of thinking through and processing information. Learning more about your own personality can help determine if you are really that different than your manager or are you just unhappy because you aren’t getting what you want.
3) Armed with your knowledge, take time to mentally prepare and consider your approach when communicating and working with your boss. Although we live in a “that’s just how I am” society, successful people know how to flex styles and work with different types of people. Flexing your style does not mean you have to like the person but that you have respect enough to collaborate and work with others.
4) Respect and allow the “quiet time.” There is generally a lot going in the “quiet time” of the boss and it’s not just blank air space. There is a very good chance the boss is internally analyzing, connecting the dots and considering a response. Create a personal mantra that you say to yourself to allow the time quiet boss to do “there own thing.”
5) Ask for what you need. In many instances, asking for what you want works. Choose one thing that you really need that will improve your engagement and relationship with your manager. It’s possible the manager doesn’t realize how his/her personality style impacts your engagement. Example, you may really want to know what is going on in your manager’s head when they are quiet. You may want to consider gently asking, “Sometimes when you are quiet I am not sure what you are thinking or how I should be responding. Can you help me understand more?’ With the right amount of empathy and finesse, you maybe able to get your concerns resolved and feel better about how to work with your quiet boss.
6) Find other ways to have your needs met. Many times we expect our boss to meet our work needs, whether it is a brainstorming in person, verbal recognition, giving detailed direction, time for 1:1s, or just feeling a connection in general. If you feel you need more than what your boss can provide, find other ways to have your needs met.
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