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Archive for the ‘What makes a good boss?’ Category

How to Get on Your Boss’s Radar

In the perfect world, the people who quietly toil away in their cubicles would be paid just as well as those who constantly broadcast their amazing achievements. But the truth is that shy, unassuming types are often overlooked at raise time. That’s why it’s important to be sure you’re visible to your boss and other higher ups. “You need to be seen, and your boss needs to be very clear about your contributions. Otherwise, how can you expect to be recognized for your work?” says Nancy Ancowitz, a business communication coach and author of Self-Promotion for Introverts.

Here’s how to raise your profile in the office:

1. Speak up. A University of California, Berkeley study found that people who speak up in meetings were seen as more competent than their quieter colleagues—even when they added nothing to the conversation. If you’re having trouble getting a word in over chatty colleagues, Ancowitz suggests making eye contact with the person leading the meeting and raising your finger. “Or sometimes it pays to just lean forward and say, ‘Yes, Joe, great point!’ and then dive in,” she says.

2. Become an expert. Contributing to the company newsletter, web site or blog can help establish you as an expert in your particular specialty. It’s also a good idea to come to meetings armed with facts and figures. “Be seen as the knowledge bank repeatedly so that your name is connected with your area of expertise,” says Ancowitz.

3. Eat in. By dining in the company lunch room, you’ll open yourself up to casual chats with your boss and other high-level executives. But don’t squander it on your opinion of the weather. “To utilize the lunch room properly, one has to have information to share,” says Paul Klein, the director of Cleveland State University’s Career Services Center. Read the periodicals and blogs that cover your field. Keep tabs on your competitor’s doings and on new processes in your industry. “This will enable you to talk to your boss on a higher level, while projecting an image beyond what you’re already doing,” says Klein.

4. Enlist help. If you’re generous about giving credit to others and you should be then ask for a little reciprosity. “There is nothing wrong with saying, ‘I’m up for a promotion or a raise, and I would love it if you would acknowledge my contributions at the next department meeting,’” says Ancowitz.

5. Step away from the screen. The best way to be visible is to make sure your boss sees you, not just your screen name. “Don’t assume that your brilliant emails are telling your story. Your boss is human, and human beings look for connection,” says career coach Darcy Eikenberg. So make sure your boss gets to see your beautiful mug once in while. If you work remotely, schedule occasional meetings or lunches. “Face-to-face conversations are not passe in our high-tech businesses; they are still the gold standard for developing trust which is essential for moving ahead,” says Eikenberg. 

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By Sara Eckel

12 Traits of a great boss .. (MSN popular opinion)

For many people, a cardinal sin is thinking they’re perfect. Job seekers think they’re not making any job-search mistakes. Employees “always” do the best they can. And bosses are always great.

Right.

Unfortunately, in real life, nobody’s perfect — not even you, Mr. Boss Man. In fact, many bosses assume they’re doing a good job at managing their employees when the opposite is the reality.

“Such situations occur frequently, quite simply because the boss does not have accurate feedback,” says Sandra Naiman, author of “The High Achiever’s Secret Codebook: The Unwritten Rules for Success at Work.” “Often, employees don’t tell him or her what they really think.”


In reality, being a good boss isn’t as easy as it sounds. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you can tell people what to do and they’ll do it, Naiman  says. And even if they do, that doesn’t make you a good boss.

“The role is really one of supporting and motivating people to do a good job. This means you have to understand what motivates people, be constantly available to them, be a role model and adjust your style to suit each individual direct report,” she says.

Here are 12 things that good bosses do, according to Naiman and Vicki Salemi, author of “Big Career in the Big City.

1. Ask employees how you can best support them in doing their job. “This ensures that you are doing your best job to help your employees do theirs,” Naiman says.

2. Make sure that employees have all the information, resources and support they need to do their job. “It also demonstrates that you see yourself as [being] there to support them,” Naiman adds.

3. Give continuous feedback, both positive and constructive. “This helps the employee develop [professionally] and avoids surprises during performance reviews,” Naiman says.

4. Provide opportunities for professional growth. “This lets employees know that you are in their corner,” Naiman says.

5. Don’t let employees know of your own job concerns or challenges or problems in your personal life. “This prevents employees from feeling that they have to take care of their boss,” Naiman says. “A good boss is perceived as competent and there to support his or her employees.”

6. Create trust. “A good boss is a trusted boss. So, keep promises, follow through on commitments [and] never betray a confidence or talk about others in the organization, except in a favorable way,” Naiman says.

7. Show compassion. “Treat employees like they’re people. Not employees, but people. If one of your direct reports had a death in the family or even a bad day, be human and compassionate,” Salemi says.

8. Listen. “One of the best traits of a boss is someone who not only goes to the wall for their employees but who also listens to them,” Salemi says. “Sometimes team members just need to vent and get things off their chest. A good boss will listen.”

9. Give frequent feedback. “Instead of waiting until an annual performance review to give feedback — good or bad a sign of an excellent boss is proactive behavior,” Salemi says. “A fantastic boss will get the most out of his or her employees. Giving positive feedback and acknowledging a job well-done often results in more good work.”

10. Understand your employees’ jobs. When you don’t completely understand what your employees do or how they do it, it’s more difficult to help them navigate their job if they need more resources, Salemi says. “Plus, a good boss should go to bat for his or her employees. If they don’t understand the magnitude of their direct reports’ job responsibilities, this may be harder to do or convince the higher-ups of their worth.”

11. Live and breathe by the company rules. If you show up late, take long lunches or are not available at certain periods throughout the day, people notice, Salemi  says. “Rules aren’t just for direct reports to abide by. A good boss will know that their behavior is to be emulated,” she says. “If the rules don’t apply to them, who should they apply to? A true leader takes this very seriously.”

12. Acknowledge your employees’ work. “Recognize their performance. Even as employees go through a busy season or may be inundated with job sharing in this economy, a good manager will keep them motivated by putting wind in their sails and, more importantly, keep turnover low,” Salemi says. “If you have a good boss, you’re golden, you won’t want to leave. When you know your boss is on your side, it makes a difference in your productivity, morale and overall workplace happiness.”

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By Rachel Farrell, Special to CareerBuilder


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Top 40 things you wish you could say to your boss or at work but can’t

OK, so it’s not always smart to say exactly what you are thinking at work. (Alright, it’s almost NEVER smart). But if you hold it all in, that quiet ticking sound you’ll hear is the countdown till you completely lose it. So what’s the solution? How about 1) open an anonymous email account, and 2) send this to your boss. And if you are a boss, odds are there’s someone else you’d love to send it to… So, here it is: A little office humor for you: The top 40 things you’d love to say at work.
Things you’d love to say out loud at work
1. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of sh*t
2. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet its hard to pronounce
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public
5. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn
6. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter
7. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message
8. I don’t work here. I’m a consultant
9. It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying
10. Ahhh…I see the ****-up fairy has visited us again
11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers
13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don’t give a damn
14. I’m already visualising the duct tape over your mouth
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you
16. Thank you. We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?
20. I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.
21. It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of karma to burn off
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial
23. And your cry-baby whiny-assed opinion would be..?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn’t an office. Its hell with fluorescent lighting
26. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left
27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed
31. I’m trying to imagine you with a personality
32. A cubical is just a padded cell without a door
33. Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic and disorder – my work here is done
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay.
39. You know the good thing about your bad breathe is it almost masks the fact that you never shower.
40. I know you’re trying to increase productivity and all, but don’t you think blocking porn sites is taking it a little too far? Besides, it’s the only time I get too see your w…fe.

How to deal with a brutal boss

Feeling anxious? Constantly close to tears? Unable to meet deadlines or perform to your full potential? You may be suffering from stress caused by unacceptable behaviour from your boss.

The image of a tyrannical boss was perfectly captured by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. But when Gordon Brown was accused of bullying his staff, things were a little less clear cut.

A former adviser to Gordon Brown told the Guardian: “His intense bouts of anger are unremarkable to anyone who has worked closely with him. You just have to put up with this stuff. It is part of the daily experience, almost part of the furniture. He would behave in that way constantly.”

Lord Mandelson, however, saw Brown’s behaviour as less toxic and simply “demanding”, “emotional” with “a degree of impatience”.

“The definition of bullying behaviour,” says Steve Williams, head of equality services at ACAS – an organisation dedicated to resolving employment disputes, “is not about the intentions of the perpetrator, rather the reasonable perceptions of the victim.”

“There’s a clear line between bullying and harassment,” Steve continues. “Then there’s bad and unpleasant behaviour. You also have controlling and demanding management styles such as setting very high standards from colleagues – fine, as long as the manager gives his/her people the opportunity to succeed. It’s where behaviour violates your dignity and creates a hostile, offensive, intimidating and degrading environment.”

Examples of bullying behaviour at work might include the spreading of malicious rumours, forwarding sensitive memos to those who shouldn’t need to see them, overbearing supervision or the blocking of training opportunities.

If any of these sound familiar, take heart: you’re not alone. According to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey, one fifth of all UK employees have suffered from bullying or harassment in the workplace. A Unison survey found one in three female respondents were being bullied while bullying support group, the Andrea Adams Trust say more than two million people are bullied at work.

Is bullying and harassment in the workplace on the increase? Or are we simply more aware of unacceptable behaviour from our bosses and thus that much more likely to take a stand?

 “There’s a growing awareness from a more informed workforce,” considers Steve. “We’ve become more rights aware and that has made us more sensitive to behaviours.”

Steve agrees that different behaviours are acceptable in different environments (“On building or construction sites swearing is pretty standard practice, whereas that wouldn’t go down well at ACAS!”), but reiterates that the benchmark of what is acceptable has to come from the organisation.

“One of the key things organisations need to do is to have a policy around bullying and harassment and what it means in your organisation,” says Steve. “You can quote the law about what it [bullying] is but there comes a point where the organisation needs to ask, ‘What sort of behaviours are we going to proscribe’. They [the company] have got to involve their people in it so a consensus can form.”

What should people do if they feel their boss’ behaviour is unacceptable? “There’s a range of things you can do,” advises Steve. “From having a word with the individual concerned right through to putting in a grievance – and there’s a heck of a lot of steps in between.”

Here’s a few of those steps:

  • Talk to the individual concerned and express your frustration with the situation
  • Discuss your feelings with a trusted friend or colleague
  • Find out about your organisation’s policy is on bullying and harassment
  • Talk to your HR department
  • Contact a helpline such as ACAS or the Andrea Adams Trust for advice and support

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By TotalJobs 

 

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7 Things Your Boss Should Never Say to You

Few days ago, I listed eleven things employees should never say to bosses. A look at the various comment threads shows that a few bosses out there could also benefit from a review of the basics of good workplace relations not to mention a quickie refresher of what constitutes good leadership.

So, bosses, are you listening? Here are seven things you, as a boss, should never say to your employees:

1. “I pay your salary. You have to do what I say.” Have you not heard? It’s the 21st century. Threats and power plays just do not cut it anymore (and they were always a terrible way to manage). Yes, you pay people’s salaries but that doesn’t mean you’re their lord and master. You are their leader, however. Leaders lead by inspiring, teaching, encouraging, and, yes, serving their employees. Good leaders never need to threaten. So keep your word, set a good example, praise in public, criticize in private, respect your employees’ capabilities, give credit where credit is due, learn to delegate, and when you ask for feedback don’t forget to respond to it. (Another sentence to be avoided: “Do what I say, not what I do.”)

2. “I don’t want to listen to your complaints.” Hey, boss, you have this backwards. You do want to listen to employees’ complaints. That’s part of your job. You should be actively seeking feedback, even negative feedback. It may be annoying, even painful, but that’s why you get the big bucks. Complaints point to where your processes and practices need improvement. And even if a problem absolutely can’t be helped, allowing your employees to vent can go a long way toward restoring morale and building loyalty.

3. “I was here on Saturday afternoon. Where were you?” This kind of “subtle” pressure to work 24/7 is a good way to burn out your employees. You won’t get that much more productivity out of them, and you will destroy morale. You may choose to work seven days a week. That’s your call. But your employees shouldn’t have to. If you observe that they are working way more than their job descriptions call for, consider that maybe it’s because you’re overloading them. Look for ways to fix this problem.

4. “Isn’t your performance review coming up soon?” Maybe you’re trying to motivate an employee to do a better job. Maybe this is just a ham-handed way to remind underlings of who has the power. Who knows. Either way, a statement like this is not only tacky and passive-aggressive, it’s ineffective. If you really want to motivate people, consider giving them a stake in the success of your enterprise. Show employees you value them. Let them know what they have to gain by doing a good job. The results may surprise you.

5. “We’ve always done it this way.” Want to crush your employees’ initiative? This is a good way. News flash: Your employees may actually have a pretty good idea of how to do their jobs. Maybe they know even more than you. Your job as boss is to encourage them to have the energy and motivation to be innovative. In fact, employees who come up with better ways to do things should be celebrated and rewarded. (Hint: Cash is nice.)

6. “We need to cut costs” (at the same time you are, say, redecorating your office). Nothing breeds resentment more than asking employees to tighten their belts while you, to their eyes, are living it up. Even if the office redecoration can be totally justified in business terms, or the budget for it was a gift from your uncle, it still looks hypocritical and is demoralizing. Being sensitive to other people’s feelings is good karma. Leading by example is the best way to lead.

7. “You should work better.” Managers need to communication expectations clearly, to give employees the tools they need to do a good job, to set reasonable deadlines, and to offer help if needed. When giving instructions, ask if they understand your instructions. Don’t assume. You may not be the stellar communicator you think you are. If your employees are making mistakes, or not performing up to par, consider that maybe it’s because you’re giving them vague instructions like “you should work better.”

The bottom line is that in the workplace respect, a little tact, and a good attitude go both ways.

What do you think? Anything to add?

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15 Things Not to Say to Your Boss

“Think before you speak” is always a good policy, and in the workplace the maxim could be further refined to “think before you blurt out something to your boss that could hurt your career.” We checked in with some bosses, and came up with this list of 15 phrases bosses definitely don’t want to hear: 

1. “I’m only doing this job for the money.”
No boss wants to hear that your sole motivation for showing up is your paycheck. She may know that money is your motivation, and you may know she knows, but it’s still better left unsaid.

2. “I’m broke/in debt/one step away from bankruptcy.”
Your financial woes are not your boss’s concern. Period.

3. “I’m going to quit after I (fill in the blank).”
No matter how noble your future plans are — you may be saving to start your own company or go to grad school, for example — it’s usually best to keep those plans to yourself or to refer to them only vaguely. If your boss knows there is a definite end date to your employment, she may start to shop around for your replacement before you are ready to leave.

4. “I partied a little too hard last night.”
Buck up and get through the day with some ibuprofen, extra undereye concealer and coffee. But don’t share the sordid details of your night on the town with your boss. He’s just as likely to react with (unspoken) disdain as sympathy.

5. “It’s not my fault.”
Are you a whiny 8-year-old or a take-charge professional? Assume responsibility and take steps to fix a problem that you did, in fact, create. And if you are being wrongly blamed for a problem, saying “let’s get to the bottom of this” or “what can we do to make it right?” is much more effective than saying “it’s not my fault.”

6. “I’m bored/this job is boring.”
Didn’t your mother ever tell you that only boring people get bored? If you’re constantly twiddling your thumbs, ask for extra work and be as specific as you can. And if you’re busy but think your assigned tasks are less-than-stimulating, start strategizing about how you can get the job you want, either within your company or elsewhere.

7. “My job is too easy.”
Sure, you may think a monkey could do your job. But don’t give your boss any ideas — your company could probably pay a monkey less than it pays you.

8. “I can’t work with so and so. I hate him.”
Involving your boss in personality conflicts should always be your last resort. So unless you are being threatened, scapegoated, encouraged to participate in unethical behavior, or your colleague or customer is engaged in other egregious workplace conduct, try to work it out between yourselves first.

9. “I can’t do that because of my other job.” In your boss’s mind, a second job is not a valid excuse for why you can’t stay late, work extra hours or finish a project on time. She may question your priorities, and rightly so.

10. “Oh my Gawd! How did you do this job before the Internet/text messaging/Skype?”
Although not a cardinal workplace sin, making your boss feel old will not score you any points.

11. Sigh. Grimace. Eye roll. Wretching noises.
Actions can speak louder than words. A poker face and silence are golden when you’re displeased with your boss.

12. “Do it yourself!”
No need for explanation. Just never say this. Ever.

13. “It’s always been done this way.”
You don’t want to gain a reputation as an inflexible dinosaur, so keep an open mind about how you do your work. And if you’re convinced that a new way of doing things is going to harm your company, present your case without using “because that’s the way we’ve always done it” to support your position.

14. “Let me set you up with…”
Avoid the urge to play matchmaker for your single boss. The potential benefit is far outweighed by the potential risk. For that matter, any socializing with your boss (even something as simple as friending him on Facebook) can cause you to share too much information, so consider limiting social interactions entirely.

15. “Sorry, I must have drifted off.” C’mon, wake up! If you’re caught with your eyes closed, feign deep concentration rather than admit you were dozing.

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How to argue with your boss and win … may be

Do your homework and try not to be confrontational when disagreeing

Apple’s people told Steve Jobs the new iPhone had antenna problems that needed fixing. They didn’t get through, though, and as a result Apple brought a faulty product to market. It’s hard to disagree with the boss, especially a hard-driving, charismatic one like Jobs. But it’s part of a manager’s responsibility to push back against a decision, a plan or a directive that’s faulty. Here’s how you can argue successfully with the boss and live to tell about it. Take these three steps.

1. Get all the facts. Is the boss’s decision really boneheaded? Maybe there are reasons for it that you don’t understand. The company’s strategy could be shifting in response to competitors’ moves, a pending cash crunch, a regulatory problem, M&A activity, or other conditions not yet apparent to you. It’s possible that the boss understands there will be problems but feels that from a big-picture perspective the plan makes sense.

You’ll encourage an open discussion about the decision if you listen respectfully as the boss announces it rather than reflexively arguing against it or, worse, disagreeing in public or losing your temper. Ask for “background” about the plan, not a “rationale” for it, which can sound confrontational. Learn what it’s meant to achieve. Learn in what ways the decision is based on solid evidence, and in what ways on assumptions. Ask open-ended questions about the effect it will have on staff, the supply chain, finances, the company’s reputation and so on.

Tell the boss you agree with his objectives, or you agree that change is needed, or that there are parts of the plan that sound really good to you. Ask for permission to study it and discuss it later. Schedule a meeting.

Gather all the intelligence that’s available so you can develop an alternate plan that achieves the original decision’s objectives but avoids its problems.

2. Develop your plan. Don’t let your disappointment about the decision make you feel you have to start from scratch. Identify what’s good about the boss’s plan. Try to retain those parts, not only because they’re right but also to give the boss some ownership of your version. Get creative. Think about all the other ways the expected goals could be reached. You can begin by picturing an ideal solution and thinking forward to see what would be needed to make it work.

Mine your network for ideas. Ask people across the company how they can add value to your proposition. Suppliers can be especially useful to talk with, since they may have processes that can help. As you talk with others, make it clear that you’re looking for the best way to make the boss’s plan work, not trying to supplant it with your own.

Test your plan with trusted advisors. They may identify flaws you don’t see. Maybe your plan won’t generate revenue quickly enough. Maybe it relies on resources that are no longer available. Your advisors can help you make the process you’re proposing faster, cheaper and even more effective. They also can tell you if it will threaten someone who might try to block it. Working with them, you can find ways to get that person’s support.

Think about the boss’s personal motivators as well. Maybe he’s playing it safe because of a pending retirement, or maybe he’s accepting some risk to earn a huge bonus. You can’t get into someone else’s mind, but you can try to get into the boss’s shoes, to look at the plan from his perspective. (While you’re at it, examine your own motives: Are you against the plan because it hurts you in some way? Because you weren’t consulted? Because the boss is a dork who couldn’t have any good ideas?)

3. Present your plan.
Anticipate what questions the boss may ask about your plan, and prepare concise, persuasive answers to them. Prepare a written summary that you’ll leave behind. Present your plan with confidence and enthusiasm, because if you don’t show you believe in it, the boss won’t either.

Begin by describing the plan’s payoffs, and then go into details of its implementation. Don’t burden the boss with too much detail, though, unless you’re asked for it. Once the boss is satisfied with your answer to a question, stop explaining and move on with your presentation. Avoid digressing from your main message or mentioning other people’s criticisms of the boss’s plan.

Choose your words carefully. When discussing the original plan, never use the word “disagree.” That might get the boss’s back up. Even a “but” might infer you’re negating what the boss says. Present “recommendations” or “suggestions,” not the “conclusion” you reached about what’s needed, which would sound pompous.

Despite your best efforts, the boss may insist that you carry out the original plan. If that happens, the best solution may be to get approval to do so on a test basis. Be sure you make it an honest test, not one intended to showcase the plan’s weaknesses. Document every step. Let staff members who don’t have an interest in the results help you make your evaluation. Cite their participation when you report the results.

What can you do if the boss remains unpersuaded? Come to the meeting prepared for that possibility. If the plan violates law or compromises ethics, you may choose to refuse and accept the consequences. Absent those kinds of problems, though, you can agree to move ahead and feel good about it because you’ve met your obligation to make a strong case against the decision. Be sure the boss understands that you’re ready to move forward with dedication and enthusiasm.

At some point every manager has to argue with the boss. Whether or not you’re successful, the challenge can provide a payoff. You get to demonstrate leadership, creativity, an ability to negotiate and deep concern for the well being of both your boss and the company.
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By Bill Rosenthal

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If you are serious about your professional career and want to pass your IT Certification exam in first attempt and don’t want to waste your precious time and money then visit http://www.ComputerTipsnTricks.com/ITcert.htm for Free Practice Exams, Free Study Material / Books etc.

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