The Highlands Company Blog

Why Does My Boss Always Interrupt Me?

boss interrupts at workYou ask a question and she shakes her head and walks away. In a meeting, she interrupts your presentation to say she understands and doesn’t need to see the other 10 slides that you spent all day yesterday putting together. After a week away at a conference, she tells you that project you’ve been working on needs to be done a different way. No explanation.

Some might say your boss is impatient, not communicative, and an interrupter. But here at Highlands, we’d say your boss is likely a person with High Classification and Mid Concept Organization Abilities.

What Is High Classification and Mid Concept Organization?

The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is a three-hour assessment that reveals how you are naturally wired. It shows you what you do well quickly, with little effort. There are dozens of abilities that are measured along a continuum, two of which are Classification and Concept Organization.

Classification is the ability to see relationships among seemingly unrelated events, situations, or information, and Concept Organization, or the ability to arrange ideas, information, or objects in their most logical order. It’s the ability to move from the general to the specific in solving problems.

The HAB explains how combinations of abilities work together, too. Abilities change shape due to lots of variables, including your other abilities. In the case of someone who has High Classification and Mid Concept Organization together, we’d say you have a Diagnostic/Consultative Problem-Solving Style.

diagnostic problem solver natural ability

Characteristics of a Boss with a Diagnostic/Consultative Problem Solving Style

While on the surface it may seem wonderful to score highly in areas, it can alienate or frustrate your co-workers, which is often what happens when a business leader has High Classification and Mid Concept Organization. And that brings us back to your boss who appears so impatient and rarely explains things!

Here are some common traits of a boss in this category:

  • Interrupts!
  • Jumps to a conclusion or solution quickly, often assuredly.
  • May or may not think to explain how she “knows” best.
  • If asked to explain, she needs a little time to sequence her thoughts in a way that is followable.
  • Impatient with detailed, tactical-type questions.
  • Expects the solutions they identify or conclusions they come to are obvious enough to start implementing and may operate as though the details will take care of themselves.

Tips for Dealing with a Boss Who Interrupts

Sure, it’s frustrating to be interrupted. But if you can realize that it’s a problem-solving style based on natural abilities and not an attempt at being rude, you’ll be much better off.

Next, spell it out. Tell your boss you need to explain something or have something explained. Help your boss understand that you are a person who needs resources, structure, or details to execute their wonderful solutions.

Then, suggest your boss and the whole team take the HAB! As part of a group workshop, the experience could quickly change the way you communicate and perceive one another.