3 Things You Should Be Doing If Your Boss Is Disorganized

Having a disorganized boss can be incredibly frustrating. Some bosses forget about meetings or are consistently late. Others struggle to complete projects on time. Many also forget to provide the necessary materials to finish deliverables. 

I've had the experience of working for a disorganized boss before. Completing assignments felt like a guessing game, and projects were an absolute nightmare. Planning events was exhausting. Although I didn't enjoy working for an unorganized boss, it was a valuable learning experience that I'll never forget. It showed me the qualities I do not want in a future manager.

Sometimes people overlook red flags during job interviews because they desperately need the work. A major red flag is a potential employer admitting they are disorganized or exhibiting obvious signs of it. If they reschedule interviews multiple times, are late to meetings, or can't remember important discussion points, you're likely dealing with a disorganized manager.

Even if you're past the hiring stage and have accepted a job with chaotic leadership, there are steps you can take to help your manager become more organized. Here are three key things to do if your boss is disorganized:

1. Exercise Patience: It's nearly impossible to work with a disorganized boss without practicing patience. Your boss is likely often late and may even forget what they're talking about or what they asked you to do. Rather than getting angry, take a patient and empathetic approach. Disorganization can stem from past trauma, a chaotic upbringing, mental health issues, or neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD. Avoid venting to colleagues and instead, talk to a mentor or mental health professional about coping strategies.

2. Ask Questions: Rather than criticizing your boss's approach, ask if they would consider completing tasks differently. Present suggestions as questions so your boss doesn't feel like you're telling them what to do. Ask relevant questions during meetings and projects to guide them toward more organized decision-making. Be thoughtful about your questions, as you don't want to embarrass or irritate your manager.

3. Take Notes: With a disorganized boss, it's crucial to document everything. Take detailed notes during meetings and calls, and share a shared document with your boss that tracks deliverables, wins, and roadblocks. Send the link to this document directly to your boss so they can access it easily. Writing things down can help avoid conflicts and keep everyone on the same page.

By exercising patience, asking thoughtful questions, and thoroughly documenting everything, you can help your disorganized boss become more organized. This will make your work life much easier and allow you to thrive, even under chaotic leadership. 

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