I am not a mind reader, so how do I read my boss’s mind?

Dear Aunty B,

I have just been earbashed by my boss for something that is completely his fault.

We have just taken out new office space after moving from the city and, between moving here from there, he went and bought a small business with five people, including two who apparently must have offices even though we all work in open plan.

This means we are effectively out of space before we even move in!

When I pointed this out to him he told me that I wasn’t working in a milk bar and that I should have known we were planning on hiring more people because things come up.

The thing is, Aunty, when I did ask him before we leased the office, he told me that it was more likely we would be staying the same size or downsizing in the next few years. But he now denies saying that and says we are an opportunistic company that has to be able to react quickly to opportunities.

I get that and that’s why I joined this business, because it is never dull.  But I am not a mind reader, so how the hell am I expected to read his mind? And what do we do now? When I told him we had a three-year lease he hit the roof.

But I did try and get time with him to discuss plans and leases and he is always so busy it is really difficult to pin him down or get him to really concentrate!

Cross and bothered but not a mind reader,



Dear Cross and bothered,

It is your fault. You see, it is your job to read your boss’s mind.

Of course, in a perfect world with perfect bosses this skill is not one you would require. However, most bosses sound just like yours: running so fast they miss the woods for the trees. And that’s your job – whatever your job is. It’s to stop, grab a big microphone and yell, “Look you idiot boss! There’s a big fat whopping tree in your path and you are just about to crash into it!”

So what you need to do now is try and figure your way out of this. Call the real estate guys and see if there is larger space you can take. If there isn’t, ask if there is any space you can lease on the floor above or below or anywhere in the building. If that doesn’t work, you could doorknock your neighbours and see if they have any space you can sublet. Lots of people have a bit of spare space at the moment and you can wack up a glass wall for $6,000 and Bob’s your uncle.

As for your boss, you need special hand and mouth signals for important discussions. These include booking an appointment with the boss, walking in, closing the door and saying to him: “I need your full attention on this for five minutes.” Write down everything of note and send it back to him in writing to confirm.

And don’t take his outbursts to heart. He is also yelling at himself.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au right now!


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