How to behave with the boss?

How to stop being afraid and start bossing

Control and giving orders – the most important thing in the work of a manager, says Bruce Tulgan, author of the bestseller “To be a boss – it’s okay. 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 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 figure 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 unconcealed 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 need to address these questions often enough and adjust your managerial landscape regularly.

Be a tough manager.

A true manager always gives orders. They are just 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 he or she plans to handle the task, but then skillfully and as quickly as possible lead him or her to the correct conclusions. Ask the employee to spell out 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 need 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.

How to put the boss or the boss in her place?

Relationships with bosses play an important role in the career development and business advancement scenario. Dealing with the boss proves to be a difficult psychological challenge for many people. When the supervisor doesn’t hold his or her own, the problem gathers momentum. Not everyone is able to tolerate rudeness, but also a decent response requires strength. What to do if the boss behaves defiantly? How to fight rudeness and arrogance? When it is better to remain silent and what actions are suitable for emergency situations? Answers to questions will give applied psychology of business communication.

What are the bosses?

Leading people – a complex art, requiring a person to a set of certain qualities: self-control, flexibility, ambition, sociability, organization … the list goes on forever. When the work in the team is not working out, it’s worth thinking about the competence of the head.

Destructive leaders – the destroyers of office peace and order. With them you can not make porridge, and do not solve the case. But the problems are always in abundance.

  • A reptile is a god of medium order. He is a small leader on the run of a big boss. Today he is pleased with your work, and tomorrow you organize a showdown, received criticism of senior management.
  • Dictator – will not allow you to say a word against. Does not accept criticism, advice, does not hear the wishes. He thinks he knows everything better than you. And even if you are a first-class architect, and he does not distinguish load-bearing wall from the non-load-bearing, his authoritarian wishes are undeniable.

Positions often go to the strongest, but not to the most worthy. Assess your strength and capabilities before you enter the fray.

The slightest error will be your defeat and worsen the situation at work.

How do you put the arrogant manager in his place?

  • Stay calm. Resist the urge to get emotional. You’re easier to manipulate when you’re agitated. Prepare for the conversation in advance. Allocate a couple of minutes, close your eyes. Breathe evenly: Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Repeat several times. Don’t get yourself worked up before the conversation. Stay calm, level, try not to show emotion. Calmness in response to aggression will temper the ardor of the boss.
  • Politeness . When a supervisor is rude, ask him or her to justify the reasons for the behavior. Speak in a coldly restrained tone, politely. Show that you are well-mannered. Uncultured behavior is a sign of low intellectual development. You are above rudeness. There is no place for unprofessional communication in business ethics. Politeness and restraint are a sign of courage. Controlling your emotions means conquering your fears. Once you have mastered yourself, you become an uninteresting toy for a sadistic boss or actor.
  • A face-to-face conversation. Public outbursts to your boss are fraught with unpleasant consequences. To avoid them, choose a place and time to talk to your boss in private. Try to find out what he is not satisfied with your work. Take a sheet of paper and a pen and write it down. If any of the above is not true, ask him again. Forcing the boss to repeat the lie, you focus on the illegality and impropriety of his actions, awakening conscience.

Be serious. Women in communication with men at a subconscious level, use a smile to achieve sympathy. In business relationships, this technique can not work.

Smiling awkwardly, you show softness and provoke an attack, especially the sadist, the dictator and the actor. Emotionless facial expression cools the ardor of the boss.

  • Watch your gaze. Make eye contact with your superior. If you find it difficult to maintain eye contact, keep your gaze at nose level. When you lower your eyes, you acknowledge the power of the interlocutor. On a subconscious level, he feels that you have surrendered, and goes on the offensive.
  • Control your gestures. Lowering your head, constant nodding, nervous gestures, defensive postures, and movements reveal your insecurity and weakness. Control your behavior:
  • Don’t deviate backward in your interactions with your boss;
  • Don’t look for extra support in the form of a table or chair when standing in front of your boss;
  • Don’t fend him off with your arms and legs crossed;
  • Stop blowing off non-existent dust particles and removing imaginary dirt from your clothes;
  • Take your hands away from your face and lift your eyes;
  • Express agreement with a discreet, solitary nod;
  • Articulate phrases and answer questions accurately.

Dealing with the usual nonverbal responses is difficult, but necessary, if you want to show the boss his place.

When choosing your method of response, be guided by your own strength and your boss’s character. The more you take into account individual factors, the more effective your behavior will be.

What should not be done?

  • Accept public insults in silence. Thus you risk losing the respect of not only the boss, but also of your colleagues.
  • Respond with rudeness. Rudeness breeds further aggression. Do not stoop to the level of a boor, respect your dignity.
  • Criticize the boss. No boss likes criticism. If your boss is a dictator, you risk deepening conflict. By condemning your boss in a fit of anger, you provoke a negative outburst at you. A single aggressive outburst will turn into a persistent dislike of the boss.
  • Humbly ask for forgiveness and take the blame. This way you humiliate your own dignity and untie the hands of the tyrant. You will be blamed for all the accidents in the office. This behavior is especially dangerous with the sadist and slacker. If respect in the team doesn’t play a big role for you or the dialogue with the boss takes place in private, you can take the blame for communicating with a dictator or a coward. Aggressive outbursts will stop.

Forewarned is forearmed!

Conflicts with the boss are easier to prevent than to deal with the consequences.

  • Strike a balance of interests. Conflicts with the leadership often arise from misunderstanding. Chief does not seek to explain his position and desires subordinates, and employees tolerate and silently perform vague tasks head. The result: the dissatisfaction of both sides. Look for the benefits for yourself and for bosses. Find the optimal balance of interests.

Find a balance of relationships is possible with any boss. Be more attentive and do not be afraid of management.

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