Written By
Max Brown


Founder Marissa Peretz Quoted in Harvard Business Review

One of the key reasons people contact us when they’re in search of the next step in their career is that they are unsatisfied with their boss’s management style. Companies sometimes overlook the need for management and leadership development when they promote someone from an individual contributor role into a managerial role. Since managing people requires an entirely different skill set than completing tasks solo, this can often lead to stress on the manager and his or her employees. Our founder Marissa Peretz shared wisdom with Harvard Business Review about how to handle this situation with class and decorum.

Sometimes you can adapt to this situation, move forward, and come out of the crucible with a stronger working relationship than when you went in. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. We understand that because we have our own experiences and the experiences of the people we work with to draw upon when people ask us for guidance.

Recently, Marissa sat down with the Harvard Business Review to discuss coping mechanisms to help thrive when being managed by an unpredictable boss. She shared her own experience to shed some light on tactics that worked for her and that have worked for others we have advised over the years. Speaking of her own boss, “we never knew which mood we were going to encounter when we came in each morning,” she said.

If a boss becomes too emotional, sometimes it’s difficult to find a rational way to calm them down. In some cases, a temporary ‘exit strategy’ can be helpful. “I always made sure to retreat to a quiet space to compose myself,” she says. This could mean a quick walk outside to clear your head or perhaps retreat to a bathroom stall for a few minutes with a meditation app like Headspace. These techniques can help remove yourself from a situation before it escalates further.

Marissa, also speaks to the value of a well-timed apology. Communication is a two way street. If part of your boss’s frustration stems from your own performance, even if their management style is misguided , “you need to own your mistake,” Marissa said. “Saying sorry and taking responsibility really helps bring calm to the situation.”

For more case studies, and advice on how to deal with a boss who behaves unpredictably, read the full article by Carolyn O’Hara in Harvard Business Review.