Whether you just got a new job or whether your company just assigned a new boss for you, it might seem hard to deal with it. But deal with it you must. Learn to develop poise and to manage your boss.
First, recognize two things: 1. Fear is common. 2. Throughout your career and personal life, you will face adversity.
Second, consider fear to be an acronym, FEAR: “Frantic Effort to Avoid Responsibility.”
Getting a new boss does not constitute a problem. Facing fear actually makes you stronger. It’s an opportunity for growth.
If you have apprehension, you need to understand why. In such situations, the most-common questions to consider: Do you fear change? Do you have authority-figure issues?
The solution to such personal and professional issues is to conduct a personal assessment. On a sheet of paper, create two columns – your strengths and weaknesses. Analyze your attitude and behavior in similar situations whether you had friction, were laid off or fired.
For negative situations, here’s a hint: You’ll learn fear was a factor – a frantic effort to avoid responsibility – to yourself. Understand your role, but don’t focus on the other person’s. Don’t give away your personal power by focusing on the possible motives or behavior of others – even if you feel you were dealing with the reincarnation of Attila the Hun.
At the bottom of the sheet, develop a strategic game plan – strategize how and why you’ll be successful.
You might also develop a list of positive affirmations, such as: “I’m a great employee,” and “I welcome this new boss as an opportunity for growth.” Keep this list handy. Recite these affirmations in front of a mirror. With enough practice and by facing fearful situations, you’ll get stronger and someday will feel compelled to share these tips with someone who will benefit.
Then, implement your strategic plan. Research your new boss. Learn all you can. If you have questions for your boss, create a written list. Include questions about possible likes and dislikes about preferred employee performance. Don’t procrastinate. When you’re ready, ask your boss for a time to chat.
Once you’re working with your new boss, there will be opportunities to contribute to the welfare of the team. The team is only as strong as its weakest member. Don’t be afraid to speak up to solve problems.
But it’s important to remember this concept: It’s not what you say, but it’s how you say it. Even unpopular viewpoints serve as catalysts for your professional and organization success.
Don’t speak with finality with an accusing tone, for example: “This is a problem.”
Instead, ask a non-threatening question, such as: “Is it possible that the problem is…?” In this way, you’ll help open the door to a team discussion.
Oh, and by the way, by doing this you’re on your way to becoming a leader among your peers. Then, you’ll be ready for the eight tips on how to ask your boss for a pay raise. And if you want, you might become management material, too.
So, the place to jumpstart your career development: It’s all about poise in managing your boss.
From the Coach’s Corner, related readings:
- Do You Have A Toxic Relationship With Your Boss?
- How To Deal With An Oppressive Employer
- Top 11 Tips for a Great Elevator Pitch
“If the world operates as one big market, every employee will compete with every person anywhere in the world who is capable of doing the same job. There are lots of them and many of them are hungry.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Updated Jan. 11, 2012
A Seattle Times headline is perplexing. True, the headline –“Lawmakers open session, try to close $1B gap” – is a fairly accurate assessment of Washington state’s budget. Not to be laboriously repetitive, but the headline is worrisome. Once again the Legislature faces a budget crisis.
“The economy is the focal point of this year’s legislature as state lawmakers attempt to close a $1.5 billion shortfall in a $34 billion budget at the state capitol in Olympia,” blogged Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business (AWB).
Mr. Brunell is known for his pragmatic reasoning.
“As they deliberate, they must be mindful that Washington is in the midst of an anemic economic recovery which is very fragile,” the AWB president added. “New costs to employers, especially those along Main Street, have a dampening effect on our ability to increase consumer confidence and bring people back to work.”
That’s my sense, too. But the Legislature routinely fails to prioritize first things first. The short-term priority is to balance the 2011-2013 budget. But as a priority, it’s secondary to a bigger quandary – government and budgeting reform, which are needed immediately, as well.
Instead, all budget discussions are about the short-term and relatively insignificant issues grab a disproportionate amount of attention.
Gov. Gregoire wants to focus on a new $3.6 billion transportation package, gay marriage, shorten the school year, abolish social services, release some prisoners before the sentences expire, and increase the state’s sales tax. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, also says same-sex marriage is a top priority.
A significant number of citizens wants to legalize marijuana. Some lawmakers want a statewide ban on plastic grocery bags.
Most of us in business agree education is a priority. But increasing taxes even for education isn’t productive as long as government/budgeting reform is ignored as a priority.
In addition to Mr. Brunell, another thoughtful pragmatist is Jason Mercier. Mr. Mercier is director of the Center for Government Reform of the Washington Policy Center.
Worth consideration is Mr. Mercier’s list of recommended reforms:
- Enact a constitutional tax and spending limit (with two-thirds requirement to raise taxes) modeled after the original 1993 I-601 formula.
- Remove as many of the restrictions on lawmakers’ ability to set spending priorities as possible (collective bargaining restrictions on compensation, federal mandates, assumption of auto-pilot budgeting on programs).
- Reform competitive contracting. Allow agencies to make performance-based contracting more proactive (create a Competitive Contracting Council).
- Provide the governor discretionary authority to cut spending.
- Repeal unaffordable programs instead of suspending them.
- Require at least a 5 percent reserve when adopting the next biennial budget.
- Require updated four-year budget outlooks to be published after each state revenue forecast or budget adoption.
- Require completed fiscal notes before bills can be acted on.
- Phase in a defined-contribution retirement plan that gives state workers benefits that can never be taken away.
Amen. Yes, the Legislature should soberly balance the budget. However, unless the Legislature concomitantly reforms government and the budgeting process, uncertainty will never be alleviated for the state’s businesses and consumers.
From the Coach’s Corner, you might want to consider other public policy columns.
“There is an important sense in which government is distinctive from administration. One is perpetual, the other is temporary and changeable. A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.”
Columnist Terry Corbell is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?
Become more strategic to manage your marketplace challenges to achieve higher profits. But the marketplace only represents 50 percent of an entrepreneur’s headaches.
Internal factors within your company also contribute to entrepreneur insomnia, especially dilemmas over how to control costs, performance and quality.
Here are 17 HR management strategies:
1. Have a job description for every position, no matter how little skill is needed. Regularly appraise workers . Keep your most promising workers. If the others can’t improve then replace them, but take precautions.
2. Train and monitor your supervisors to perform. Be wary of the 20 tell-tale signs that they might be under-performing. Note: Every employee is entitled to know the answers to their three questions –
- What’s expected of me?
- How am I doing?
- What’s in it for me?
3. Constantly network to find the best employees. Ask your best workers for employee referrals, use trade publications, and advertise in economical local newspapers. Although tempting, free online ads won’t generate the most productive workers. Here are nine quick fixes to attract the best workers. Check references thoroughly using open-ended questions for comprehensive answers.
4. Screen for common sense, creativity and education. Einstein’s theory about imagination being more important than knowledge often works in HR.
5. Target employees who possess the three A’s: Attitude, appearance, and ability.
6. Note the priority of attributes. Attitude is everything in showing empathy to other employees and customers. Both you and your customers will be pleased. While job knowledge or hard skills are important, so are soft skills in communication and teamwork. Coachable workers who aren’t afraid to work on their strengths and weaknesses, and set goals will make you money.
7. Family and friends will work fine as workers in tight economic times. Don’t forget temporary help firms for short-term projects or for hiring on a temp-to-perm basis.
8. Create a favorable first impression with a gracious welcome of new workers and encourage a buddy system. At the outset, demonstrate that you’re a leader so that you inspire employee respect.
9. Improve morale by developing an inspiring communications program. Whether or not your company is undergoing dramatic change, communication is key. Use formal and informal ways to dialogue with workers about priorities, celebrate success stories and encourage feedback. Survey your workers about their priorities. Accommodate employees when feasible. In essence, power your company with employee empowerment.
10. Don’t cut corners in training and development. Encourage continuous self-improvement. Invest in training, mentoring and education, but make sure to get results from your training investment. The best workers will appreciate it. Don’t let your stars become free agents.
11. Treat workers equally and regularly enforce your company’s procedures. Make certain everyone knows sexual harassment is taboo. Make certain every manager knows how to avoid EEOC discrimination suits.
12. Focus on succession planning. Retain and attract leaders for your firm, and develop a succession-planning strategy to help your most talented employees ascend to senior levels. There is a link between financial performance and succession planning.
13. In talent development, make sure your new managers are trained to succeed in managing others. Help your managers to evaluate your company’s HR strengths and weaknesses. Eliminate any gaps in your workforce and establish a harmonious environment for company growth.
14. Promote diversity. It’s good business to consider and implement policies to recruit workers who are from other cultures. Add disabled applicants, and part-timers – such as stay-at-home parents and retirement-age workers. Remember slow motion gets you there faster.
15. In compensation and benefits, no boss wants to over-pay employees, but if you do your best to provide for employees, they’ll deliver stronger performances and take better care of your company’s assets. Use the right strategies if a valued employee wants a raise but money is tight.
16. Encourage exercise and recreation.
17. Use exit interviews as opportunities for growth and to learn from any mistakes. The good workers might return or refer outstanding candidates to you, if you’re seen as a caring employer.
If these tips are properly implemented, you’ll see strong results.
From the Coach’s Corner, here’s a footnote on getting more productivity:
If any employees seem to be chronically tired, sleep apnea could be the culprit. Encourage your workers to participate in a sleep study.
The National Center on Sleep Disorders Research reported 12 to 18 million people have life-threatening sleep apnea. That’s a condition in which people stop breathing several times each hour and they don’t even know it.
“It’s not the hours you put in your work that count, it’s work you put in the hours.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.