Q: I’m a seasoned marketing consultant and love my job. However, my boss can be overbearing—texting at all hours, let alone being rude to me in front of colleagues and clients. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written my letter of resignation but don’t want his bad behavior interfering with a job I truly enjoy. Advice?

A: These kinds of bosses who are overbearing, micromanaging or just plain annoying can be maddening. But before you lose your cool and resign in a rage and lose an otherwise fantastic job, there are a few tactics you might want to try to manage your difficult boss and have a professional and productive relationship.

Analyze the Situation: If your boss is breathing down your neck or texting at all hours, what’s really going on? Was he on his way to a meeting and needed something from you to prepare or on his way back from a meeting that didn’t go well? We all have our moments so give your boss the benefit of the doubt. He might be having a rough time and once he’s through it, things will likely improve.

Understand the Why: If it happens often, try to understand why your boss is overbearing—maybe his superior is the root cause or perhaps the rest of the team is not doing its best. Other professional and personal factors could be in play. Ask if there’s anything you can take on for your boss to lighten his load.

Check Yourself: Step back and ask if your reactions are appropriate for the situation. Are you treating your boss as professionally as you could? Is your work up to speed or have you been slipping recently?

Build Trust: Some managers worry that without constant monitoring, employees won’t do their jobs. Show that you’re not that kind of worker to build trust with your boss. Meet deadlines. Stay organized. Ask for help/clarification when needed. Meet or exceed expectations. Results speak volumes.

Communicate Regularly: Consistent communication with the boss helps build trust. Provide a list of priorities and projects before the boss has his morning coffee. Provide status updates to confirm you’re on track to avoid interruptions.
If the Behavior Continues: Have a conversation to address the issue and how you want to do your job as effectively as possible but need more autonomy—giving specific examples when you’ve been interrupted and the time it took time to recover. Ask if there is something that has prompted this close monitoring but be careful not to be accusatory in your tone.

Stay Professional: It’s your best bet when it comes to an overbearing boss. It’s not always easy, but staying calm and
level-headed during any interaction with him will help smooth things over and maintain your reputation.

But if things don’t improve, it may be time for a new job.

Joan Lee Berkman is a marketing and public relations consultant. if you have a question for Joan, send it to business@townandstyle.com