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kritie
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17 Mar 2012, 8:23 am

What is it like to have an aspie boss? How do the NTs get along with him/her?



TheChamelion
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17 Mar 2012, 9:01 am

kritie wrote:
What is it like to have an aspie boss? How do the NTs get along with him/her?


A boss that could potentially expect you to research the topic like they do, expect perfection, be accidentally 'insensitive' and likely not be too good with communication...

Got a feeling that person wouldn't be liked too much by NTs...


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kg4fxg
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17 Mar 2012, 9:09 am

I am an Aspie boss. Ask anything you want.

I am extremely lenient. I am not a clock watcher, and I don't micro-manage. Just look at results. Extremely flexible. Odd? Anything else will land me in trouble. I only manage degreed employees. I don't babysit. I think people appreciate being treated like a professional. Mentor, help, encourage, don't ever criticize the individual, only the work or problem with a task. I refuse to monitor email, tweets, or anything. Give females extreme latitude. Don't get into dress issues.

I still can measure everything on my desk and control my world in my private office, but allow others to interrupt and be themselves. I don't expect others to operate like I do. Other operate differently but very efficiently.



goodwitchy
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17 Mar 2012, 10:42 am

I'm not formally Dx-ed. I was a manager until I demoted myself.

(Added: My original job was not management - I was promoted because of my experience, so now I am back at the original job I had applied for).

I hate, yes hate, managing people... not so much because of the people, but because of my own tendencies. When I was a manager, I would end up correcting and fixing everyone else's work after they left for the day. After a while, I resented that everyone else had a "normal life" and I was staying late at work correcting their mistakes. (But I don't mind staying late at work to do my own work - I do that all of the time now).


Also, as much as I tried to get along well with everyone, I still think they saw me as a pain in the bum. It was too stressful, I am much too honest, and I don't do office politics. I'll never be a manager again.


_________________
Aspie score: 161 of 200
Neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 38 of 200
Autistic/BAP -123 aloof, 124 rigid and 108 pragmatic
Autism Spectrum quotient: 41, Empathy Quotient: 19


ooo
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29 Jun 2012, 7:04 am

TheChamelion wrote:
kritie wrote:
What is it like to have an aspie boss? How do the NTs get along with him/her?


A boss that could potentially expect you to research the topic like they do, expect perfection, be accidentally 'insensitive' and likely not be too good with communication...

Got a feeling that person wouldn't be liked too much by NTs...


Bahahaha.



EmployeeOfAspie
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04 Jul 2012, 9:37 am

We have a new boss who just found his son has Aspergers and is beginning to realize he has some of the traits himself. He considers himself high-functioning as he was successful as an officer in the military.

Finding out he has Aspergers traits has really helped me understand the interpersonal dynamics. However, I am still struggling with how to deal with some long speeches he gives. What's funny and aggravates the situation is I have ADHD and have difficulty sitting still through long meetings - especially when those meetings are filled with the boss's stories/monologues which don't provide a lesson, have a connection to our work discussion topic, or entertain. I get impatient and antsy.

To add to my difficulty sitting still during the monologues, often, the stories talk about how wrong another person in his life is/has been or how great and clever he is. Examples: We listened to 30 minutes about how a celebrity he went to school with had poor character or how dressing a certain way (high heel shoes, french manicures, shaved legs) are related to prostitution. In fact, at times, the stories are explicitly misogynistic. The self-aggrandizing and hateful tendencies would be difficult character traits to deal with in any person. When you add the Aspie verbosity (example after example of his superiority to others and how particular people in his life or our office are villainous), it takes on a new dimension and really tests my patience. I think I struggle more with his ego and judgmental nature than the verbosity, to tell the truth. But, it is hard for me to tell what my real problem with the situation is since the two aspects are intertwined.

So, clearly, aside from my boss being an Aspie, it seems the boss has insecurities for which he compensates by focusing on and advertising his strengths and accomplishments. His pointing out others' flaws constantly must be a way he feels better about himself. Does that sound right? Is it possible he feels less bad about his own imperfections when he notices and points out others' flaws? Is it that his aren't as bad to him when he compares himself to others? Does this seem like a correct analysis?

So far, my strategy has been to interrupt my boss and change the topic back to work. That is not always appropriate (for example, when we are in a formal meeting). I tend to do this when we have one-on-one interactions. I thought this was working until an incident arose:

In a social setting, I kept interjecting comments so that the conversation wouldn't be so one-sided, and therefore awkward for the rest of us (and unbearable for ADHD me). He blew up at me and became derisive, accusing me of innate rudeness. This event signaled to me he had some pent-up frustrations about my "changing the subject back to work" earlier in the week.

I agree that interrupting is very rude. I have a problem with it and understand how upsetting it is for people. However, I don't have a way of ending or changing the dynamic of the interaction other than to walk away. I would hate to do that.

I am asking the Aspies out there to tell me how they would like to be treated?

Is the best thing to just let the stories continue? Listening politely to every story would certainly make my boss feel appreciated and respected. However, there is a performance problem here because a good part of the day is going to people listening to various stories instead of doing work. Our meeting could have been 10 minutes and instead it was 30 with the stories. If everyone enjoyed the stories or the rest of us could join in, we could chalk it up to team-building and morale boosting. However, the stories don't have these values. I don't think we can let him continue with every story he starts because the verbosity is impacting productivity.

Another idea is to privately give him feedback about his propensity for telling stories. Even though I am his subordinate, I gave him negative feedback in the past. Unfortunately, his ego (I suspect a defense mechanism) got in the way of his being receptive to the feedback. The whole interaction just made him mad at me. For 6 weeks, he was angry at me and took on passive aggressive behaviors such as making me come in early for meetings that had been cancelled and direct behaviors such as openly criticizing/berating me. As a former military officer, he is very rank-conscious and a subordinate giving him negative feedback is taboo and viewed as disrespect.

His peers and bosses could give him feedback about telling stories. I think that is the best route. What do you think? I am not sure he is very receptive yet. It is possible that wouldn't make a difference either. How do you increase the effectiveness of feedback?

And, if he has low self-esteem, do I address this by constantly validating him? I have an issue executing a "compliments campaign" because there are other performance issues (lack of responsiveness to task requests and questions, lack of Microsoft Office Suite skills, perfectionism which delays production of presentations, guidance which is incorrect and has big ramifications for people's timecards or ability to do their jobs) and he could later cite our acknowledgements and compliments if he gets negative performance feedback.

Any ideas or insights about this complicated situation are welcome. Like I said, I realize the issue may be more about insecurities and a compensating ego than it is about Aspergers.



GiantHockeyFan
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04 Jul 2012, 12:43 pm

I don't know if my new boss is an Aspie but he certainly has many of the characteristics. He's loyal, dedicated, somewhat quiet and is very straightforward and reliable. AS or not, we can certainly see eye to eye and within his first few days told me how much he respected my abilities. Oh, and I literally never see him unless he has a question I can help him with. He's recently helped me fight my battles with less co-operative co-workers and has proven to be a man of his word. Can't ask for much more than that! Heck, I've spent almost an hour here and he doesn't care because he knows I'll get my work done no matter what. Luckily he's not an obsessed perfectionist like me!

It almost seems like he is struggling a bit in his new role and I can only smile and say, "yep, he's an Aspie all right!" He might seem initially like he doesn't care or is a little slow but nothing could be further from the truth. Like me, he doesn't make a huge first impression but you couldn't ask for a better person to work for once you get to know him and has really gone to bat for me.



kirayng
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07 Jul 2012, 5:21 pm

Both of my bosses are Aspies. They just don't know it. Very interesting dynamic indeed, even more entertaining when they treat me like an NT. :twisted:



humanoid1point0
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08 Jul 2012, 8:35 am

I'm a boss with AS. It really depends on the personality types of my subordinates whether they can thrive under me or not. People that need constant praise, lots of social interaction, are sloppy/not detail-oriented, or need a lot of hand-holding have a hard time. However, people that like being pushed and work independently love working for me because they get almost carte blanche so long as they produce a good work output. The real trick is finding the right role for people, as sometimes an employee's responsibilities do not mesh with their personality, which can be the catalyst for more confrontation/criticism than necessary if the person were in a different role.

The hardest personality type for me is the needy one that requires a lot of praise. It is just not in my nature, and I feel fake when I give unnecessary praise. Also the need for social contact exacerbates my own need to be alone, which creates an unsusainable feedback cycle. I'm still trying to figure out how to resolve that one.



Projectile
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13 Jul 2012, 3:40 am

kg4fxg wrote:
I am an Aspie boss. Ask anything you want.

I am extremely lenient. I am not a clock watcher, and I don't micro-manage. Just look at results. Extremely flexible. Odd? Anything else will land me in trouble. I only manage degreed employees. I don't babysit. I think people appreciate being treated like a professional. Mentor, help, encourage, don't ever criticize the individual, only the work or problem with a task. I refuse to monitor email, tweets, or anything. Give females extreme latitude. Don't get into dress issues.

I still can measure everything on my desk and control my world in my private office, but allow others to interrupt and be themselves. I don't expect others to operate like I do. Other operate differently but very efficiently.


When I was a boss I was much like this too.



ooo
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13 Jul 2012, 4:55 am

EmployeeOfAspie wrote:
Is the best thing to just let the stories continue?


Many bosses, NT or otherwise, tell stories at work. Many tell lame jokes that you're stuck politely (faux) chuckling at.

I didn't read your entire story, but... yes, in general, people have to politely listen to their bosses stories. He's making pleasant conversation, like many bosses. I wouldn't call it an Aspie thing itself. Lots of bosses tell lame jokes, go on for hours about their past jobs/childhoods, etc.

If it gets to where it's actually sexist, racist, whatever, then he (or HR) should have a talk. Otherwise, boring lame stories are just part of work.