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Six ways to deal with an indecisive boss

Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Reporting to an indecisive boss is challenging and frustrating. Here’s how to turn the situation around.

Managers who can’t pick a course of action, or constantly change their minds, are infuriating. You waste time, switch direction, and your credibility and reputation suffers. So how can you help a wishy-washy manager make decisions? Writing in Harvard Business Review, Rebecca Knight presents some strategies for coping with a chronically indecisive boss.

1) Diagnose the situation. Sydney Finkelstein, author of Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent, says the first step is to “figure out what is behind the behaviour”. Try to have empathy. Maybe his own boss smacked him down the last time he went out on a limb; or he could be wary of your organisation’s ‘blaming culture’.

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