Archive for June, 2010
Is Your Boss Ignoring You?
In my latest Psychology Today article I address the issue of a boss who behaves like you don’t even exist (yes, it happens sometimes). Here is an excerpt:
Your performance is good, you are getting the job done without making big waves. But at the back of your mind there’s a persistent thought: it would be nice if your boss answered your e-mails or acknowledged your stellar work on that critical report. Being ignored can trigger a cascade of wasteful worries that don’t help your performance at all.
Often, it’s not about you. Your boss could be overwhelmed and distracted with other tasks or trying to solve big problems in little time – and in this case you are in no danger.
It could also be that your boss is feeling powerless. So in order to feel some semblance of control managers may act as if they’re too important to have time for you. Or, if there is a problem between you and your boss, instead of facing uncomfortable situations he may find it easier to just tune you out.
Boost Your Visibility
Keeping a low profile when you are ignored would be a mistake. Instead you need to increase your visibility and step up your role. The more indispensable you are, the better.
Make an effort to get your boss’ attention when you need it.
Points to Consider:
• Being ignored is no fun, but try not to take it personally. Your boss might simply be busy or preoccupied.
• Find out the reason by asking directly and by asking your colleagues.
• If you’ve done something to irritate or disappoint your manager, try to communicate with your ignoring TOT in a nonthreatening, constructive way.
• Make it easy for your boss: set up regular meeting times, keep the meetings short, and make your reports or presentations are appealing and creative.
If nothing else, getting in front of the problem will release a lot of tension. At best, it will mitigate the problem and perhaps even strengthen the relationship.
Read the whole article here: PsychologyToday.com
Respectful Workplace, Part II
RespectfulWorkplace published the second part of my interview. Here are a couple of excerpts:
RW: In your book, you mention creating a “humanized workplace.” Could you please describe for our readers what that would look like?
LT: In today’s high-tech environment, sometimes “humanity” can be forgotten. A humanized workplace is a collaborative work environment in which everyone puts the larger good of the company first. It is the reverse of a corporate playground rampant with TOTs. It’s a workplace that has a family feeling to it, where fun and humor are not just tolerated, but encouraged. Where teams are inspired by their leaders to innovate and work toward a common goal. It’s a place where people want to work, not a corporate playground.
RW: Give us an example of a successful managing up of a TOT and how it benefited the employees and the company.
LT: Ryan worked for an elusive TOT who ignored him for reasons Ryan couldn’t fathom. He would e-mail her with an important question and rarely get a response. However, she would drop by his office to tell him nonstop about her own projects, then leave. When he tried asking about his own projects, he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Ryan worried about his boss’s behavior. Was she angry; was there going to be a layoff; was his work not up to par?
Although nonassertive by nature, Ryan decided to take action and manage up. When his boss came around to talk, he rolled his chair around his desk and sat next to her with a crucial report in his hand on which he needed her feedback, effectively blocking the doorway. When Ryan brought up the report, she tried to make her exit, but was boxed in. Ryan got to ask his question because she realized that there was give and take involved, even if it meant through Ryan’s non-verbal skills.
Ryan also learned that he had to catch her when she was available (often doling out projects) if he needed her attention. He’s been proactive ever since by getting his materials together for a moment’s notice visit; making his needs more concise, and posing most everything into a “yes” or “no” question.
The result? His questions get answered, his work runs more smoothly and she tells him he’s doing a great job. Ryan’s approval worries have subsided and his projects have become more streamlined.
Read the whole interview at RespectfulWorkplace.com