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Moodiness Quitting Time

My boss runs hot and cold, and it is impossible to know how he is going to act when we meet with him. He can be abusive, and he can be charming and friendly. Just when you think you have won him over, he can be your worst enemy later that day. How do you deal with someone like this?

When a boss runs hot and cold, employees tend to run away. One of the most powerful ways to generate serious distress, dissatisfaction, and confusion is to reward and punish the same behaviors, and that is essentially what your boss is doing.

His behavior causes employees to keep their distance when they should be communicating, to the point that they may withhold important information or simply lie to him. There can be any number of reasons for his mood swings, and, importantly, he is not likely to change. As a result, you need to think about whether you can work with this type of personality, and, if so, try some different strategies.

One obvious step is to focus more on timing. There may be times of the day, week, or month when he is more likely to function as a human. Perhaps there are certain events that appear to trigger a more positive mindset.

It can also be helpful to tailor your communication with him so that it meets more of his needs. For example, look carefully at what he expects in terms of detail, format, and content, and keep this in mind as you shape your interaction with him. In addition to thinking about a communication strategy, you may want to think about an exit strategy.

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