5 Tips for Working With a Disorganized Boss

Working with a forgetful, disorganized supervisor is challenging and reduces your productivity. Ease your frustration by implementing these tactics:

  1. Simplify communications. Make your points clear and concise. Use bullets to list out action items. Don’t overwhelm your boss with too many things at once.
  2. Write it down. Offer your communication in writing. Many people can process what they read more easily than taking a verbal command and carrying it out.
  3. Follow up. If you don’t hear from your boss on an issue, follow up. Request confirmation of receipt of highly important items.
  4. Clarify instructions. Before taking actions on a project, clarify your boss’s expectations. Don’t make assumptions if something is unclear. If you don’t, you risk delegating incorrectly to your employees.
  5. Prioritize needs. Talk about or write your most important items first. If your boss processes or reads only the first half of your message, he or she will absorb the most critical information.

— Adapted from “17 Tips for Working With a Disorganized Boss,” Jacquelyn Smith, http://www.forbes.com.

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