How do you behave with your boss?

How to stop being afraid and start commanding

Controlling and giving orders is the most important thing in a manager’s job, says Bruce Tulgan, author of the bestseller “It’s Okay to Be the Boss.” According to his observations, many people are afraid of authority and do not realize that controlling people is their direct responsibility. In his book (its second edition came out in Russia in January), Tulgan explains how to behave in order to become a real boss. “The Secret” publishes helpful excerpts.

Controlling and giving orders is the most important thing in a manager’s job, says Bruce Tulgan, author of the bestseller “It’s OK to be a boss.” According to his observations, many people are afraid of authority and do not realize that controlling people is a direct duty of a boss. In his book (its second edition came out in Russia in January), Tulgan explains how to behave in order to become a real boss. “The Secret” publishes helpful excerpts.

Changes in the work environment have led to a fundamental shift in norms and values related to the very essence of the employer-employee relationship. But here’s the problem: Most managers, as before, prefer to avoid conflict. They still lack leadership skills and even basic knowledge of effective job control. Much of the legacy of previous managers in organizations large and small is still based on non-interference: “Here’s our mission statement, deal with it. And wait for comments. We’ll let you know if anything goes wrong, and the system will reward you for your hard work, but no more than anyone else.”

Let me tell you plain and simple: true leaders don’t have any workarounds to give up on management.

Manage every day.

Most managers are so busy with “real work” that they often see their management responsibilities as an additional burden. They avoid daily management in the same way that many people shirk their daily exercise routine. They begin to manage when it becomes an absolute necessity. As a result, supervisors and their employees get out of shape, and unexpected problems appear regularly. I call this phenomenon–management when you can’t avoid it–special occasion management. The only alternative to special occasion management is to form the habit of daily management.

Start with one hour a day devoted solely to management. During that hour, do not engage in “firefighting.” Use it to manage with an eye toward the future, before something goes well, badly, or normally on its own. This hour a day will allow you to stay in shape, similar to a daily walk.

Avoid general meetings

Some managers prefer general meetings to daily one-on-one communication, but they cannot serve as a full substitute for face-to-face meetings. When you look an employee in the eye, talk about expectations, ask what they have accomplished, evaluate their performance, or give them feedback, no one has an opportunity to hide. During general meetings, hiding is much easier for managers and employees alike. Bosses often feel more comfortable sharing bad news or feedback with the whole team rather than talking to people face-to-face. The problem is that bad news or feedback is often directed at only one or two people out of everyone gathered. Therefore, the rest of the team feels confused and even insulted, yet the very people you are trying to “manage” in this way don’t always realize that you are addressing them!

Managers tell me all the time about general meetings where they planned to shed light on the behavior of one of their employees who is constantly late for work and takes long breaks. The supervisor says at such a meeting, “We need to stop the practice of being late to work. And we need to stop taking such long breaks. Remember, you have two ten-minute breaks, and ten minutes means exactly ten minutes.” Most employees listen to this in bewilderment, “What is he talking about? I get to work early enough every day that I don’t even get to take my break,” and the very same employee in question looks at his watch and thinks, “Enough already, call it a day. It’s time for me to go on my break.”

Be a mentor

“I’ve never been a particularly good mentor,” managers sometimes tell me, “so I don’t know what it’s like. Well, I can describe it. The mentor speaks in a level and insistent voice. He behaves methodically and engagingly. He is enthusiastic and assertive. His demeanor is constantly directed toward stimulating concentration and responsibility.

Here’s exactly how a mentor should talk: – Tune in to the person for whom you are mentoring; – Focus on specific examples of their work; – Describe the employee’s work and results sincerely and viscerally; – Articulate the next specific steps.

Handle each employee one at a time

Every employee is unique, but most managers take about the same approach to managing them. Whatever methodology they use-weekly reports, monthly team meetings, or annual evaluations-they rarely take into account the characteristics of the employees being evaluated. The only way to deal with the incredible diversity of your employees is to find out what works for each of them and then adapt your management style accordingly.

The best way to engage in fine-tuning your approach to each person is to constantly ask yourself six key questions about each employee:

1. How can I characterize this employee?

Assess the major strengths and weaknesses of this person as an employee. Examine his tasks and area of responsibility. What is the work he does? Recall his performance record. Can he be considered a high performer, an average performer, or a low performer? Is he productive? Would you call him energetic? Think about his career background and possible future. How long has he been with your company? How long can he stay? Think about his social role at work. How high is his energy level? Can he be considered enthusiastic or skeptical? Do others like him? Is he talkative? How much respect does he have from his co-workers? Manage the personality that the employee “brings” to work.

2. Why do I need to manage this person?

The key to answering this question lies in a clear understanding of your goals in managing each employee and what you need from him. Do you want him to work harder? Better? Faster? Do you want him to change something in his behavior?

3. what do I need to talk to this person about?

Concentrate on the work the employee should be doing in the near future. Decide whether you need to talk to him about the big picture or the small details. Some employees can only understand the difference between a bad job and a good job when you break down their task into small elements and explain the essence of each in detail.

4. How should I talk to this person?

Some employees are better off answering your questions. Others prefer that you say everything yourself. Some employees respond best to a level-headed tone and listing of facts (auditor style). Others respond to a more emotional expression of your thoughts (big brother style). Some employees respond best when you challenge their leadership abilities (cross-examination style). Some respond best to unabashed enthusiasm (cheerleader style), and some respond best to anxiety, fear, and urgency (panicker style). Think about what motivates this person.

5. Where should I talk to this person?

Whatever you choose as a place to talk, your office or something else, it’s best to settle on the most appropriate room for it, and then turn meetings in it into a habit. This space will become the real stage on which your managerial relationships will unfold. If your employees work remotely, you should adhere to strict rules about calling and emailing. However, if you work in the same office, it’s best to meet on neutral ground.

6. When should I talk to this person?

If you communicate regularly with your subordinates, there is no point in making your meetings long and complicated. The main goal is to turn one-on-one dialogues into a routine – short, straightforward and simple. Once you achieve this kind of communication with each employee, you should have enough time to talk to them for fifteen minutes.

What if things aren’t going too well for someone? Try to meet with him daily for a while. Make no mistake: you shouldn’t spend many hours painfully clarifying details, accusations, or confessions. Make the meetings short and consistent. Chances are high that things are going wrong because your employee isn’t getting enough direction or support.

What about highly productive employees? Should you spend even fifteen minutes every day or once a week if things are going well? Perhaps you should have a meeting with such employees every two weeks.

Make a managerial landscape.

Try to create what I call a managerial landscape for yourself. Take a piece of paper and write the following questions at the top of it: “Who? Why? What? How? Where? When?” In the first column under “Who?” write the name of each person you manage and what you know, or think you know, about each of them. Then state your thoughts about each employee in the “Why?”, “What?”, “How?”, “Where?” and “When?” columns. Seeing all of this information on one page will give you an idea of the overall landscape of your managerial work and will probably immediately present possible problems. This page shows your managerial world, but remember that circumstances and people are constantly changing, which means you should address these questions often enough and adjust your managerial landscape regularly.

Be a tough manager.

A true manager always gives orders. They are merely binding instructions. If you don’t like giving orders, then imagine ordering from a vendor. Imagine that your employee is an independent agent working for himself and you are his customer. Have you spelled out all the important terms and conditions? Have you described the product clearly enough, including its specifications and the delivery date you will receive in exchange for payment?

If you believe that you should be an incentive manager rather than a directive manager, remember that you need to become a very aggressive incentive manager. Managerial communication should be an interactive dialogue. That means you have to ask the really right questions.

– Ask basic questions: “Can you do it? Are you confident about it? What will you need from me?” – Ask leading questions: “How are you going to do it? Where do you plan to start? What are your next steps?” – Ask short, focused questions: “How long will this step take? What about the next one? What does the checklist look like?”

So, should you let the employee come to the right conclusions on their own? That depends on how much extra time you have. Ask the employee to speculate aloud about how they plan to handle the task, but then skillfully and as quickly as possible lead them to the correct conclusions. Ask the employee to talk through their thoughts until they get rid of the gaps.

Some jobs require employees to have the courage to take risks and make mistakes because their work is creative and innovative. If creativity is at the heart of your subordinate’s work, the most important thing you can do for him or her is to clearly explain what is outside the scope of his or her decisions. Set specific parameters within which he must act. If you don’t want to constrain the employee in any way (no stipulations or goals), then clearly define any parameters that can be set Are there time limits? Or will you pay the employee for his or her brainstorming attempts forever? How will you know when the employee has finished their work? What will count as a finished product or outcome? If you want the subordinate to be comfortable taking risks and making mistakes, you should express this in the form of a specific assignment: “I want you to take risks and make mistakes.” Perhaps you should tell the employee how many risks he can take and how many mistakes he is allowed to make.

Keep an eye on the little things.

The higher your reputation as a detail person, the more power you gain, even if you don’t have all the knowledge you need in a particular situation. Why? People will be much more willing to share information with you and answer questions fully and sincerely. They may well assume that you already have all the information or answers you need and are just in control. They will also be more attentive to the details of their work if they are confident that you will be checking them out.

A manager of one research company told me the following: “I am constantly monitoring the work of every subordinate. I try to pay attention to every little detail. About once every week or two with each employee I mention a little detail about their work, for example, I say, ‘Do you remember your email on such and such a topic sent at ten-thirteen last Friday? There was a mistake in the third sentence. I printed out a copy to show you.” And I’ll tell you this. After I started doing that, all the employees started paying a lot more attention to detail.”

Track performance with action-specific monitoring

There are five ways to monitor specific employee actions.

1. Monitor the performance of subordinates.

This is one of the most effective ways – watching an employee interact with a customer for just a few minutes will tell you much more about their performance than a huge number of customer surveys. If you’re having trouble helping an employee succeed at a particular task, you should shadow that person. Then you will understand exactly what he is doing and how he can get better results.

2. Ask for a report.

In any one-on-one conversation with each employee, ask him or her to report back on what has been done since your last meeting: “What specific actions did you take? Were you able to meet clearly stated expectations?” After that, start listening carefully, forming judgments and asking more leading questions.

3. Help employees use self-monitoring tools

You can ask subordinates to help you keep track of their actions with self-monitoring tools such as project plans, checklists, and time logs. Employees can monitor themselves to see if they are meeting the goals and deadlines set out in the project plan, make notes on checklists, and report back to their supervisor on a regular basis.

4. Regularly Grade Incomplete Work.

Carefully review employees’ work as it progresses. If the employee is not responsible for the final product, then supervising their work is the same as controlling their activities. If the employee is responsible for the final product, however, you should do spot checks without warning.

5. Ask others.

Ask customers, suppliers, co-workers, and other managers about their interactions with specific employees. Always ask questions about the subordinate’s work, not what kind of person he or she is. Ask to share descriptions, not evaluations. Be interested in details, not impressions.

When problems persist.

Some problems resist solutions, even if you deal with them aggressively and consistently. At this stage, almost all problems can be linked to one or more of three categories: opportunity, skill, or desire.

If the problem is capability-related (your employees’ innate strengths aren’t always well suited for certain tasks in their current role), your best course of action is to eliminate unsuitable tasks and areas of responsibility from employees’ jobs by giving them other things to do. If you can’t do that, then you have to admit that the work is being done by people who aren’t suited for it.

If the problem is related to skills (the employee does not have enough knowledge, has not mastered the right techniques, or lacks the necessary tools and resources), then it is up to you to make sure that he gets everything he needs to succeed. Find the gaps in his skills and fill them by offering training or the right tools and resources. If you can’t give your subordinate everything they need, you need to work with them and figure out how to handle problems with what you have.

Of course, the toughest nut you have to crack is motivation – the desire to act. Everyone is different, so each employee is motivated by different things. However, in the case of persistent performance problems, the big question is, “What takes away a person’s motivation?”

Don’t treat everyone the same.

Most managers, living in a world of mismanagement, lean toward “sameness” because it’s easier to manage. Every time employees are paid according to a fixed system (hourly wage or salary), the boss doesn’t have to make and justify difficult decisions He doesn’t have to stay involved with each employee and make sure they know exactly what they have to do to earn what they want or need.

“High-productive and low-performing employees get the same basic compensation? That’s not fair,” one manager at a large manufacturing company told me, “You should reward people for what they deserve and are entitled to. Yes, you want every employee to work harder and better. Most of them, for their part, are doing everything they can to succeed and are desperate to earn what they want and need. If you are willing to give more to someone who deserves it, you are by definition forced to give less to those who have worked worse. When people deserve more, do more for them. When they deserve less, do less for them. This is the only fair course of action.

Inadequate People: Conflict and Abuse at Work

The corporate wisdom of “come to the company and leave the manager” usually boils down to the fact that there are so difficult, unpleasant and conflicting relationships at work that there is no more strength to tolerate them. The research service conducted a survey on conflicts and abusive relationships at work – in this article we analyzed the results and collected tips on what to do if you find yourself in such a situation.

⏱ Time to read – 8 minutes

The study found that harsh treatment at work is unfortunately not uncommon:

Yet 11% had experienced abusive behavior from co-workers only, 44% had experienced abusive behavior from supervisors only, and 13% had experienced abusive behavior from both co-workers and supervisors.

The survey was conducted Oct. 22-27, 2020, among 6,463 job seekers (including 3,116 employed and 3,070 non-employed but formerly employed).

The analysis by branch showed that the only exceptions were the civil service, non-profit organizations, and early career: there the percentage of those who had not experienced abusive behavior at work was higher than of those who had. True, the difference is not great – only 2-3%.

The survey was conducted Oct. 22-27, 2020, among 6,463 job seekers (including 3,116 employed and 3,070 non-employed but formerly employed).

The top three “leaders” among harsh attitudes were job devaluation, disdain and arrogance, higher-pitched talk, boorishness and rudeness:

The survey was conducted Oct. 22-27, 2020, among 6,463 job seekers (including 3,116 employed and 3,070 non-employed but formerly employed).

The majority of respondents preferred to solve conflict situations on their own, but a significant percentage of respondents could not find a way out of the situation and simply quit.

The survey was conducted Oct. 22-27, 2020, among 6,463 job seekers (including 3,116 employed and 3,070 non-employed but formerly employed).

Workplace conflicts and abusive behavior from co-workers and supervisors are emotionally charged, challenging situations that are difficult to respond to with a “cool head.” We asked Anastasia Zheludkova, psychologist and author of the project prosto_psy, to comment on typical problematic scenarios and give advice on how to get out of them without damaging yourself or your career. And, if possible, not to encounter them again.

Situation: a conflict with the boss

Alena lives in a small town and works as an accountant at a well-known and stable company. But about six months ago the chief accountant, on whose team Alena worked, left. A new person took her place, with her own rules and approaches to processes. Alena complains that she often receives orders verbally or by phone, and when the task is done, she suddenly finds out that the manager had other things in mind.

Psychologist’s recommendation:

“If a manager in business communication chooses non-ecological manipulation – transitions to personality, impulsive outbursts – it indicates his underdeveloped emotional intelligence and flexible skills. For subordinate employees, this situation will be uncomfortable, as the manager will regularly take advantage of his superior position and not restrain his manifestations. This can ultimately lead not only to a worsening of the atmosphere in the team – the self-esteem and performance of subordinates will suffer – but also to burnout of employees due to constant emotional tension and stress, or even to public conflicts and scandalous dismissals.

What I would recommend to Alena: develop your own emotional intelligence, learn to work with manipulation and build professional boundaries, getting out from under the influence of the “inadequate management style. To try to bring the relationship with the manager into a clear business communication. If unsuccessful, it is still better to change the company.

Situation: an unfriendly team

Svetlana recently came out of maternity leave and found out that the department in which she worked had changed dramatically. Some left on their own, some “left.” But she came back with the idea that she had to work, to adjust. And things were going well at first.

Psychologist’s Recommendation :

“This situation is similar to an underlying competitive struggle between colleagues with a shadow leader. It is a common story in women’s teams. But to confirm this hypothesis you need to delicately find out information from your colleagues and supervisor. And in case it is confirmed, go into an open dialogue with a colleague in front of the boss.

I would recommend Svetlana to work on self-esteem, healthy ego, open confrontation and competition skills. Learn to see passive aggression in communication and be able to respond to it, to conflict ecologically, and to protect your professional image.

Unresolved such a situation can hit Svetlana’s self-esteem, devaluation of her professional skills, deterioration of relations with colleagues and her own involuntary departure.

Situation: under pressure from the client

Sergei managed the project for about a year. During this time the client changed the project manager. A person with government service experience came in with the express purpose of showing off and proving himself. When talking to Sergei he immediately became haughty and “lordly” and did not allow us to work quietly. The time came when we had to sign an act of work for several million rubles. The client’s representative said: “You’ll work for me for two more months and then I’ll sign the statements. Although all the work on the project had been done and the project team had finished their business trips, there were no objective reasons not to sign the papers.

Sergey is at a loss: one does not want to quarrel and clash, but without this, it seems, the situation cannot be solved. And he is also afraid of losing a client, because they have been working with this company for many years.

Psychologist’s recommendation:

“Sergey has well traced the psychological aspects and motivation in the behavior of the client, who at the expense of his position is trying to increase the importance, using manipulation and pressure to demonstrate power. But in this case, the emotional conflict will only exacerbate the situation and the client will increase the pressure to point out “who’s in charge here”.

I would recommend Sergei to work on his confidence and self-regulation in negotiations, to learn to turn off his emotions and not let himself get drawn into manipulation. Conduct an open, diplomatic, cold-blooded dialogue with the client. With justification and reinforcement of all initial agreements, facts and involving the entire client team.”

How to resolve conflicts at work

  1. If you find yourself in a difficult situation at work, before you clarify the relationship, argue, prove your point, contact a helping expert – a psychologist, a coach, a career counselor. The fact is that the vivid emotions that you experience at a time of conflict sometimes prevent you from making informed and conscious decisions. As a result, the conflict is not only not resolved, but even worse.
  2. In difficult communications remain polite and neutral. The fact is that the opponent may deliberately lead you to emotion. If some questions put you on the spot or drag you into an argument, take a pause. “You know, you’re asking me a tough question. Let me check the information and get back to you with an answer.”
  3. Never discuss third parties in these situations. Otherwise it could be used against you in the future.

One last piece of advice: If a difficult situation develops at work and all your attempts to solve it collapse, think about who you can involve as a mediator.

One of my clients,” says Anastasia Zheludkova, psychologist and author of the project prosto_psy, “suffered from the attacks of her new manager for several months. He saw her as a competitor and made every effort to “squeeze” her out of the company. She communicated with him in an emphatically polite manner. She checked her reports ten times before sending them in. She offered ideas and help, but all she got were sarcastic remarks. She could not simply leave, both for financial reasons (she had a sizeable mortgage) and because of her attachment to the company. At one point she shared her troubles with the head of the neighboring department – they worked together a lot, and on some issues he even became her mentor. Suddenly he suggested that she transfer to him. He took care of all the arrangements for her transfer.

I really hope that you are one of those people for whom the abusive relationship is only a topic of an article at And if you are still in a similar situation, do not give up, and look for a way out.

Read also

  • Notifications in messenger
News and articles
Services for job seekers
To young professionals
  • Notifications in messenger

Today there are 1007718 jobs on the site, 61719727 resumes, 1773373 companies and 3209647 invitations for the week

( No ratings yet )
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply