Bad Boss - how to deal?
He is a combination control freak who always has to be right and abrasive micromanager with authority problems - all which varies depending on his mood. So for instance, one week he's totally cool, relaxed letting me do my thing...the next week he's on my ass reading all my emails and commenting in real time on anything he disagrees with (ie. 'the way you wrote that can be perceived like x and y', 'why did you say that?' 'what does that mean?', or providing unneeded direction and actions to take etc.). It really seems to depend on mood. I have to cc him on all emails, all my colleagues do. So we're all working and he's at his desk reading the emails in real time.
I haven't necessarily reacted well to this, as in getting defensive and jumpy, which I realize didn't help improve anything, I know it's put him off. It's also made me fearful and paranoid in general. There's a whole 'blame' vibe in the office and there isn't much hesitation in having what should be personal conversations take place in the office in front of colleagues. I've also distanced myself from him - whereas before we had rapport. I don't know what to make of these 'mood swings'. I find it really uncomfortable and has made me lose respect for him.
The problem is...I do my job, I'm on top of everything and I REALLY hate someone standing over my shoulder questioning to me what feels like my competency....there's no basis for it that I can find. I take pride in doing a good job and this has hurt my morale. I've since realized after observing my colleagues that the best way is to just stay clam nod and smile and say 'okay' despite unfounded claims and orders for work that's already been completed. I don't know that it even has anything to do with me at all.
Initially I thought that perhaps I was doing something to bring this on but I've since witnessed the same behaviour being done with my colleagues. It comes and goes in phases, with a new individual chosen each week/month. I spoke with them and they all confirmed receiving the same treatment at one point or another. There's this underlying lack of trust, even though there doesn't seem to be any basis for it. Projects get completed, clients are pleased with the work, figures are up etc. Its very inconsistent so you're off your game not knowing when the behaviour will come back to you.
He does NOT like to have his ideas questioned or discussed in detail, they're more orders that come fast and quick and have to be followed - I learned this the hard way. I have a tendency to think two steps ahead at how a decision may impact other processes etc. especially considering that I'm the one doing the work, in the weeds and am not asked my opinion at all. After getting spazzed at/embarrassed in front of my colleagues I've quickly learned this isn't the way to go.
I think he's just super insecure at his core and associates control and obedience as being a good manager. I notice his breathing speeds up and he gets super excitable, jumpy and starts barking off orders when any issues arise - without stopping to ask any questions or inquire what actually took place.
My fear now is that having bumped heads, gotten defensive etc. that his opinion of me is locked down and he is only viewing me through that lens. I don't know if I can change this.
Any ideas? Anybody experienced the same thing? Is the only answer to move on?