The company I work for was a small startup 8 years back. A technical, financial and sales guy got together and built a solid base.

But the technical guy isn't into management.

So now the company has grown, I've been promoted to manage the technical team, which includes one of the business owners.

As you can't "manage your boss", how do I manage my boss?

He is prone to pulling rank occasionally and to end arguments with "well if you don't understand, I'm not going to explain it".

Please help!

tlhausmann's picture
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Hmmm. One verbal technique that may work in your favor is "What I hear you saying is..." and use clarifying language. I suspect you need to summarize your statements to get resources for your team (which in this case includes your "boss".)

The end result is that you are seeking to condense the idea (creating another task) where problem solving personalities excel.

jhack's picture

It's about why you're arguing in the first place.

Startups are tricky, in the ways of other small privately held firms. Tact is essential.

First, are you doing one on ones? You still need to build a good relationship with your colleague. Having a good mutual understanding of one another is key. Know his DISC profile and communication preferences (ie, use some of the techniques in the "Manage your Boss" podcast.)

Second, focus on shared goals. Arguments usually result from people focusing on positions or ideas rather than shared goals. (The books "Getting to Yes" and "Crucial Conversations" have good techniques for this.)

Third, maybe you could work out some division of labor, where he's the "technical architect" and you're the "manager." Define explicitly where your responsibilities intersect.