5 ways to manage your autocratic boss

May 6, 2011: 11:20 AM ET

Got a boss who's too bossy? You can turn that to your advantage, says a veteran HR executive. Here's how.

By Anne Fisher, contributor

FORTUNE -- Dear Annie: I am a senior software specialist with decades of experience. Yet the manager I'm working for still doesn't trust me and won't grant me any decision-making flexibility. In fact, he treats me like one of the enlisted men who worked for him in his previous career in the military.

I've consistently kept my skills up to date through multiple technology evolutions, and my knowledge of my field is far superior to his. Nevertheless, he limits my "bandwidth" to what he understands, which is nowhere near my potential. As a team, we've paid the price for his ignoring my technical advice. How can I get him to loosen up and treat me like a senior team member, if not an equal? — Seething in Silence

Dear Seething: Yikes. It sounds like you have two separate problems here -- your manager's top-down, command-and-control management style, and the fact that he seems to know less than you do. Let's start with the first one. More

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