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Overanalyzing is nearly as painful for those doing it as it is for those on the receiving end. Your boss may overanalyze because he or she is as possibly compulsive as the pictured desk might indicate, or because he or she is trying to overcompensate, among other options. (and the one who is more analytical is right now analyzing the efficacy of that very statement!) In many cases, their slow decision-making process or consistent ask of seemingly far too many questions may prove frustrating and debilitating. Yet, the act of overanalyzing is always subject to interpretation. With a few clarifications in today’s Monday Moment, about what you’re seeing exactly, you’ll be able to pinpoint behavior more clearly and be more likely to accurately assess the cause of action. More importantly, in each of the following options, look for solutions to minimize frustration in the face of a boss who seems to enjoy pondering the dickens out of even the most obvious or simple of situations.

My Boss Needs More Information

A quick look at the realm of emotional intelligence sheds clues on this option. The personality most commonly known as analytical, or in the use of the CORE Profile®, an Organizer, is the very persona who craves details and facts and needs more information so that he or she may come to right conclusion. Their questions are not intended to be bothersome or appear unnecessary but are merely the most efficient vehicle for data gathering on their quest to ensure their decisions are accurate. Other personalities make decisions on far less data or go with gut instinct, but the analytical leader needs data. If both you and your boss have experience with emotional intelligence and are able to modify your styles, as we teach CORE Profile® participants, when in the presence of each other, the experience of their over analysis becomes a topic of a humorous conversation and you both are able to manage the interaction more effectively. In times of higher stress, the pursuit of information becomes less curious and more requirement and can lead to pessimism and perfectionism. If this is how your boss behaves and you’re simply trying to get something done and move on to the next thing, ask yourself if you are providing enough detailed information to the person from whom you need a decision.

My Boss Doubts My Answers

Unless you have a history with your boss in that he or she has not built up trust in your abilities and is prone to doubt your reliability, based on past experience, this behavior is likely a build-up of stressful times and stress induced reactions. The very persona who seeks out information for the right conclusion or answer, becomes far more skeptical in the face of what appears to be the inability to choose just one right option. This leads to doubt in the amount of data, the accuracy of the data, and often in the person sharing the data. Recognize that if this is your boss and he is highly stressed, the doubt of what you tell him is not a reflection on you, but on him. Remember that if your boss is stalling a decision and questions your every morsel of input, this is not the time to take that reaction personally and if you struggle to resist that temptation, ask a direct question and watch your tone when asking. You are not seeking confirmation that their behavior is personal to you, but seeking information about whether or not your feeling is or is not true.

My Boss Requires Perfection

The greater the stress your boss is experiencing, the more the need for perfection will see remarkable increases. Those who are more analytical by nature, or those who have learned how to be analytical as a means to an end, will become a tad obsessive over details when truth is in jeopardy. If your boss is a closet or obvious perfectionist, consider what she believes is the consequence if the output, project, or information is not perfect. Consider what information you can provide to ease the concern and belief that perfection must be reached before further action can be taken. Note that perfection is nearly always out of reach and that your timing will matter in these cases. Ask for permission or decisions once the height of the stress has passed and answers may come faster. Remember that perfection in answers or information, reports or data, does not also mean perfection in the person providing this information. Those for whom extroverted praise and charisma is more of a motivator and typical behavior, the stressed analytical boss can appear to find nothing right, nor likable in typically fun-loving team members. Avoid the belief that one person’s pursuit of perfection reflects on another person’s lack of it.

This Monday Moment is written both for those employees who struggle with bosses who are overanalytical AND for those bosses who may be a bit wrapped around the axel on finding out more details. No matter your preference, personality, or level of EQ, the secret ingredient to all effective efforts in managing up or leading your leader, is to not take his or her behavior personally. However easier said than done that may be, it is key to opening up a more authentic dialogue that gets to the right interpretation and leads to more productive, less frustrating personal and professional relationships.

Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist and professional speaker. Her coaching, books, and skill based training programs are requested internationally. Monica is the CEO of  www.ContagiousCompanies.com and a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. She may be reached at 1-866-382-0121. To learn more about the CORE Profile® or to complete the abbreviated, free, CORE Snapshot™, follow this link.

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