Archive for June, 2008
Dare To Share Your Story!
Got a TOT? You’re not alone! Dare to share your story here at the TOT Blog with other TOT tamers in the making. I’ll help you cope with difficult or childish bosses, navigate office politics, and humanize your workplace™. The end result? Greater fulfillment in your job and advancement in your career.
Post a comment with your TOT story, and we might feature it in an upcoming blog article. Or post a question for me, and I will try my best to answer it in the TOT Tamer Advice Column. Be sure to visit the Tame Your TOT™ site at http://www.tameyourtot.com/.
Managing Up: Humor – The Great Diffuser
Recently, I’ve been discussing ways to Manage Up: establishing good communications with your boss and pro-actively addressing your boss’s needs. However, no solution is perfect, so it’s important to be prepared for frustration and disappointment. The best way to allow humor in.
Humor is the great diffuser. It takes the pressure off tension at work (and life.) It reduces many seemingly important conflicts of the moment to the petty infractions they really are. Anger in business relationships can last for 15 seconds, 15 days, or more; and it can have serious consequences. But a humorous statement, especially when least expected, can “jam the system,” or break the cycle, reminding us that we all really strive for the common good.
So when things go awry, try it out. Be the voice of calm and levity. Certainly, injecting humor into meetings with your boss and others is a technique that requires finesse, timing and sensitivity. But when it works, it will be powerful. Over time, you will “own and hone” the ability to take a fiery confrontation down to a low simmer – or even completely defuse it with a rewarding chuckle. If your manager hasn’t already developed this skill, find ways to nurture it. He may have a dry sense of humor that you can help bring out. Your display of healthy, self effacing humor may show your boss how she, too, can win the approval of her team more easily. It was once said, “no one ever died of laughter.” Never truer in the boardroom.
Visit the Tame Your TOT™ site.
TOT Taming Tips: The World Won’t End
I was just promoted to executive manager at a large hotel last October. Sometimes I need to be away from the hotel for meetings or to travel to our other sister locations. My employees get scared if they can’t reach me and feel that the world will collapse if I’m not around. How can I show them that they can handle responsibility without me?
First of all, I want to commend you for taking a proactive approach. You are demonstrating excellent leadership and management skills by trusting your employees while you are away and encouraging them to be more self-sufficient. Now let’s explore why they are possibly reacting to your absence. Since you are trying to “TOT-proof” your own department, we need to look at all areas!
The first area is training. Confident employees know how to do their job well whether or not you are there. If you have not trained them thoroughly, they may feel scared of the mistakes they could make, or worse, your reaction to their mistakes. Secondly, it could be that you have demonstrated irrational fears or neediness yourself, and they are following your lead. The last possibility is that they simply want to do a good job for you and not disappoint you. Explore all of these ideas. Ask them straight-up what you can do to alleviate their fear. Tell them that you share the same goal of having a successful organization and you want to be the best manager possible. Good luck!
Got a TOT? You’re not alone! Dare to share your story at the TOT Blog with other TOT tamers in the making, while Lynn helps you: cope with difficult or childish bosses and office politics, and humanize your workplace™. Post your question for Lynn, and she will try her best to answer it in an upcoming TOT Tamer Advice Column. Be sure to visit the Tame Your TOT site.
Here Comes The Summer
June is here, and that means summer is upon us. The weather is nicer, the days are longer, and the work can wait another day, right? Just writing this makes me want to take a summer getaway, and I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind as well. However, doing a disappearing act is never a good idea, especially if you work for a Terrible Office Tyrant™. You may need to think creatively to make the most of your summer. First of all, talk to your boss. Ask him if there are any ways you might be able to adjust your schedule to be able to leave a little early on Fridays. Be ready to assure him that all of your work will be done on time. Second, plan ahead. Hopefully, you’ve kept some vacation days, so get them on the calendar now. Then, give your boss as much warning as possible that you’ll be taking off. However, you need to accept that you can’t always get out in the sun as much as you’d like. So, if your boss says “sorry, but I need you here on Friday,” pack a picnic lunch and catch some rays at lunch. Even a half-hour outside is better than nothing!
Visit the Tame Your TOT™ site.
Managing Up: Staying One Step Ahead
A few days ago, I wrote about how good communication can help you Manage Up to improve life with a childish boss. Once you’ve established a good rapport, you can take the next step of learning to anticipate your boss’s needs.
Many of a manager’s negative behaviors stem from feeling out of control or insecure. You can address this by striving to help her feel grounded and confident. If you’ve ever felt your boss’s behavior was predictable, take advantage of your ability to forecast storms and take preemptive action. Evaluate upcoming deadlines and offer to make a priority list of projects that can be moved ahead. If she has an extremely heavy workload, offer your support and praise her for her accomplishments. When her boss is scheduled for a visit, help her get the office and the team in tip-top form. You can be a calming, positive influence on her, and ideally, you’ll be rewarded for being such an essential team member.
Visit the Tame Your TOT™ site.