Archive for the ‘Career Advice’ Category
Help a Self-Centered, Bad Boss Change His Tune
It’s not that bad or childish bosses— “TOTs” (Terrible Office Tyrants)—are intentionally out to sabotage your career. Many are just “me-focused.” They believe the world really does focus around them in the workplace. Unfortunately, employees who don’t stand up for themselves (diplomatically) can get trampled in their desire to please.
I address the issue of a self-centered boss in my recent article for Psychology Today. Work should not be something you endure but rather something you enjoy. There are four ways to manage up and save your job satisfaction, your success, potentially even your career:
— Examine and Reinforce
— Reveal the Effects
— Execute a Strategy
— Model Good Teamwork
To find out more, read the complete article.
Time Off During the Holidays
Holidays are already stressful, especially when you’re in a hurry to finish up loose ends so you can make it out the door. But what if your boss is a TOT who suffers from “separation anxiety” and doesn’t want you to go? The signs include a last minute barrage of questions, unreasonable requests or other obstacles as you try to ease into your holiday plans. Then you end up with “vacation guilt syndrome.”
It’s legitimate for a manager to want to ensure that all bases are covered when you’re gone, but when it causes unnecessary guilt or stress, that’s when you’ve entered the “TOT Zone.” This may be an opportunity to set needed boundaries, albeit with a great deal of empathy and diplomacy.
In my Psychology Today blog, Needy Boss with Holiday “Separation Anxiety?” I give you six tips on how to spot and stop his needy behavior. Once you Tame Your TOT you can relax, reenergize and take on the world in 2012.
Why You Should Job-Hunt During the Holidays
Many people think that the holidays are a bad time to job hunt, but that is a common myth. In my latest BloombergBusinessweek and Psychology Today blogs I challenge that misconception and show how you can use it to your advantage.
In fact, even during times of high unemployment, when things slow down at the office there’s a golden opportunity for hiring to finally move to the front burner. During the holidays, many managers will now have time to attend to their flood of resumes. Granted, this is certainly not a boom time for adding staff, but there are still openings to fill. And this slower pace can help you get faster responses. That is, if you’re visible.
Is It Better to Be Liked or Feared?
Do you find your newly promoted manager vacillating between wanting to be feared and needing to be liked? It may be that the new position requires interpersonal skills that the manager doesn’t possess. He was great at his previous job where working solo was a necessity, but how to lead a team currently eludes him.
Therefore, he swings from being a power player —someone who rules the roost through fear—to a pushover— someone who will do anything to please. This can make you feel as if you’re on an emotional roller coaster—trying to determine what type of TOT he’s going to be today.
In my latest BloombergBusinessWeek article I posted that instead of vacillating between being power players and pushovers, leaders should try to earn respect. A recent LinkedIn discussion I led supported this premise. Most members of the Human Resource Management group felt that in order to garner respect, being liked is indeed better than being feared—but that at times some fear of authority is necessary to get the job done.
Has a Terrible Two tantrum ever been thrust upon you? Please take a look at BloombergBusinessWeek for a perspective on how real power thrives on respect.
TOT-taming for Beleaguered Office Workers
TOT-taming is reaching out to more beleaguered office workers this month with articles appearing in Forbes, CBS/MoneyWatch and Media Bistro. Forbes highlighted Seven Ways to Tame an Office Tyrant — don’t let them see you sweat, listen actively, be a role model, be a problem solver, harness strengths and weaknesses, use humor and show empathy. Of course, in my book, there are many more tips. Check them out!
At CBS/MoneyWatch you’ll find suggestions on what to do When Your Boss Acts like a Toddler, which included my favorite acronym: CALM—Communicate, Anticipate, Laugh and Manage. Communicate with your boss openly, honestly and frequently. Anticipate problems before they become larger problems and have solutions ready. Levity helps break tension, diffuses issues and punch through barriers. Managing up doesn’t mean kissing up. It means speaking the truth and setting expectations with your boss.
In Media Bistro’s Dealing with the Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT) I told public relations professionals that the onus was on them to spot a TOT and put some real teeth behind that great PR reputation. With some behind the scenes TOT-taming they can increase those moments of agency euphoria.
Try some TOT-taming techniques in November, as the holidays and a short month create a fertile environment for more stress!