How to Deal with Ogres
How to Deal with Ogres
An ogre is generally described as a large, massive, ugly, hideous-looking monster that eats people. Ogres are frequently featured in fiction and fairy tales. Remember the giant in ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’?
There is a feminine version, too. A female ogre is called an ogress.
Of course I am not referring to Shrek – the lovable ‘Jolly Green Giant’ ogre. Shrek is kind, caring, amiable and sweet. And bright green!
The ogres I will describe come in many shapes, sizes¸ personalities and genders. They can be your supervisors, spouses, colleagues, customers, relatives, children – you get the idea.
Here are three basic types of difficult ogres and how to deal with them:
The Micro-manager Ogre
This ogre may be your boss or someone at work. Or it can be your ‘loving’ spouse or ‘caring’ relative. These ogres believe they delegate responsibility. Not true. They may assign a task or project but they hover over you constantly and want to supervise every single little detail. This is time-consuming, aggravating and annoying.
How should you handle the Micro-manager Ogre?
If you are given an assignment, discuss with the micro-manager what he or she wants to see as the final outcome. Is it more sales? Solutions to problems? Reduction of expenses? Re-painting the walls in your home?
Explain that you want to build a detailed plan for each project. You will establish milestones for when you will report back for feedback. You get the ogre involved by inviting him or her to review your plan and adjust it as necessary.
If you are effective, the Micro-manager Ogre will see that you can deliver what you promised, and the micro-managing behavior subsides or disappears.
What if the Micro-manager is a Spouse or Relative?
You can utilize the same general behavior to get that person involved.
Shrek the Toy
The Explosive Ogre
When the Explosive Ogre is yelling at you and perhaps including invective and expletives, try to stay calm. Attempt to figure out what does the ogre really want. Do not respond in anger. You may want to delay further conversation until this individual appears to be in a calmer mood.
How should you handle the Explosive Ogre?
Try to behave as if you are a therapist and say something like: “I am sorry you are upset and I want to understand exactly why.”
If this fails to produce a more calm response from this ogre, then say: “I would like to discuss this with you but not right now while you are so upset. (Do not use the word “angry”.) Let’s discuss this later.” Set a time and place.
The Laissez Faire Ogre Who Avoids Difficult Decisions
Sometimes the boss believes in ‘laissez faire’ management – leave them alone and they (employees) will come up with the best solutions.
How should you handle the Laissez Faire Ogre?
The Laissez Faire Ogre is generally someone who has been given authority but prefers continuous delegation. First, you must assume that your boss believes you will make the best possible decisions.
Ensure that he or she knows what you are doing and has the option to redirect your activities. Send a polite email stating what you plan to do unless you hear otherwise. Lay out your projected plans and estimated timeline.
Shrek the Lovable Ogre
Now go forth and do battle … I mean, go dazzle.
"By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day." - Robert Frost
© Copyright BJ Rakow 2013. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"
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