Caught in the Middle when My Boss’ Boss Asks My Opinion In the last post, we covered what can happen if your boss’ boss asks you for work when your boss is out of the office. As we saw, if your boss (Trevor) is in dinosaur training school, he won’t be pleased. But it can get worse. You could be caught in the middle. What if Trevor’s boss (Jennifer) starts sending work directly, without going through Trevor at all? About a week after the l...

Hey, My Boss’ Boss is Asking My Opinion! You have been beavering away in the bowels of your company, feeling as if you’ll be stuck in this job forever. Your boss (let’s call him Trevor) is something of a stick-in-the-mud who wants to do things as they’ve always been done. Then one morning, out of the blue, your boss’ boss (Jennifer), appears at your cubicle. Jennifer: Hi, Matt, have you seen Trevor? You: He’ll be in later—something ...

Making Yourself Less Threatening to the Boss In the previous post, I suggested ways to lower your boss’ threat level. In this, you need to recognize work really is different from home. At work, there is a hierarchy of more power and less. You have less. Your boss has more. Therefore, what he wants will often take precedence over your wishes. I’m not saying it’s fair; it just is. This post is about making yourself less threatening to your bo...

How Not to Annoy or Pose a Threat to Your Boss In the previous post, we identified how you might inadvertently convert a personal attribute into a threat to your boss. I’ll take each attribute and suggest how you might lower the threat level if you think it exists. You are: So you: Smarter Correct your boss frequently (or infrequently), especially in front of others In front of others, in a meeting—not good venues. If the correction must come...

Do You Annoy/ Threaten Your Boss? The automatic response is ‘of course not. It’s all his/her fault.’ But here’s how you might have a hand in the situation. Taking the list from the last post on how you might threaten your boss, I’ll elaborate on how you might be making the situation worse. You are: So you: Smarter Correct your boss frequently (or even infrequently), especially in front of others More articulate Interrupt/take over the c...

Can You Prevent Groupthink? Maybe.

Can You Prevent Groupthink? Maybe. Groupthink is a powerful but unseen force in organizations. In our example, you were wise to consider how you would be perceived by the group and it probably didn’t matter that you went along with the majority. But what if the outcome had been really important? Or if you were sure you had the right answer? How could you discourage groupthink to open up the discussion? Below are ways to handle the mos...

How Groupthink Can Get You

How Groupthink Can Get You In the last post, you wanted to generate out-of-the-box ideas but were shot down. You left the meeting feeling vaguely bad, perhaps because your idea never got off the ground. Perhaps, but a much more powerful force had probably doomed your idea from the start: Groupthink. What is Groupthink? Groupthink is the tendency of a group to hold the same opinions and views. Sometimes that’s good. For something s...

Thinking No, Saying Yes–Groupthink in Action

Thinking No, Saying Yes-Groupthink in Action You work in a large document shredding company. The company needs a new strategic direction because businesses now post confidential documents to secure sites. The President’s note to staff asked for out-of-the-box ideas. Your chance for profile Your Director was attending these meetings but the baby came early and you`re her replacement. You have a great idea you can`t wait to table. Every...

Getting Harmony and Teamness Right

Your group didn’t get a report in on time and you need to figure out why. You want to challenge the assumption that the most important thing is getting along or teamness.Raising the issue with Megan and Jean won’t be an easy conversation but it’s necessary. YOU: So, guys, I wanted to talk about the report not going out last week. Expect avoidance Jean: But it went the Tuesday after so no harm done. YOU:  I’d like to discuss why...

Harmony Gone Wrong

Harmony Gone Wrong What happened? In the last post, you returned after a week off to find that an important report didn’t go out. You thought you could have counted on Megan. You need to talk to her. Talk to Megan After discussions about the state of your father’s health, you get down to brass tacks. You Skype her. YOU: I was disappointed the report wasn’t finished on time. Megan: I sent you what I could. I didn’t have all the d...