Everyone makes mistakes. Usually you can correct your error or just forget about it and move on. Making a mistake at work, however, can be more serious. It may cause problems for your employer and even affect the company's bottom line. Repercussions will ultimately trickle down to you.
1. Limit the pain, target the gain.Recognize that working for this person is "a temporary assignment. You can set limits on how long you'll tolerate it, and use the time to make yourself more marketable." Let's say you decide you can take one more year of this (assuming your boss sticks around that long). "If you figure out what you need to get out of the job to help your career, and go after it, you have a positive incentive to serve out that term," Dufour says.

2. Avoid surprises.Autocrats, even more than most people, "hate to be blindsided," Dufour notes. "Therefore, keep them informed of significant, and even relatively insignificant, developments. They crave control and power, so feeding them tidbits of information satisfy this craving."

3. Be the go-between for your team.If you haven't already taken on this role, Dufour recommends that you earn the trust of other members of your group and be the one who communicates their problems and needs to the boss. "This can be intimidating, since it means telling him things he might not want to hear," Dufour says, "but the tradeoff of elevated status is worth it."

4. Refuse to be a "yes man."Although many people try to appease an autocrat by telling him exactly what he wants to hear and following every order to the letter, "this is a huge mistake," Dufour says. Instead, "wait until you're convinced your manager is making a huge mistake" -- one that will jeopardize his own stated goals -- "or until you come up with a better idea that you truly believe in."

Then, make a concise, logical case for your approach: "Emphasize the positive outcome. Focus on what your boss will get out of doing as you suggest." If you've already tried this, keep at it: "Rehearse your argument beforehand and make sure you are stating it clearly and rationally" -- and without a trace of condescension for his (alleged) lack of technical knowledge. Sometimes, of course, it's not what you say that can trip you up; it's how you say it.

5. Do the tasks your boss dislikes.In general, command-and-control bosses "don't enjoy extended debate and discussion, and they aren't adept at dealing with any type of 'people problem'," Dufour observes. So consider making that your specialty (which will do no harm to your own long-term career prospects either, incidentally).

Helping your boss compensate for his lack of soft skills "won't earn you thanks. In fact, he may resent your ability to do something he can't," notes Dufour. However, even autocrats are rarely so oblivious that they don't know, deep down, that ignoring "people problems" will eventually damage their own professional prospects -- and that, says Dufour, "is one thing they can't stomach."

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