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...

Getting Along Can Do You In- Team Spirit Gone Wrong

Getting Along Can Do You In Team Spirit Gone Wrong The need for harmony Having a harmonious working life is a good thing, as is a harmonious personal life. It is stressful, unpleasant, and even injurious to your health to work in tension or conflict. A team which gets along is usually more productive. However, the need for harmony can sometimes be so overwhelming that everything else goes out the window—such as being innovative, avoid...

The Requirement to Lie

  The Requirement to Lie There is some topsy-turvyness about lying and work. As I’ve said previously, the benefits of the lie are not to be sneezed at. If you balance the seriousness of the lie and the possible downsides of the truth, I’m not surprised if you might opt for the lie. In this post, I’m not talking about whether you should lie but how it affects your career prospects. You’re golden if you do In the previous situati...

I Sent the Truth

    I Sent the Truth In the last post, you sent in a progress report projecting a six-week overrun rather than the three months likely. But you may have set yourself up as the fall guy. Another option you had originally was to send the real report with the three month problem. What would have happened if you sent the original report to your boss, not the altered one? Your team will probably be pleased. “Now those guys will get that ...

I Lied on the Report

    I Lied on the Report In the previous post, you lied on a report by projecting a six week cost overrun rather than the three months likely. This is so the executive committee will give you the second half money to get you back on track. You push the send button to give the report to your boss, Rhonda, to present to the committee. What happens if you push the SEND button? With your boss It is as if Rhonda has been at her desk waitin...

I’d Never Lie—Would I?

    I’d Never Lie—Would I? You manage a software development group which has a multi-year project. It’s been one disaster after another. The first year, the client kept changing the specs. By the time that was sorted, you were almost six weeks behind. In the second year, the programmers ran into all kinds of problems not foreseen by the (now fired) systems architect. The programming started almost three months late. However, som...