Managing People at Work

Some people use the words interchangeably, but for most of us the traditional boss is someone who turns employees off, while a leader turns them on. So it’s valuable to understand how to be a leader instead of a boss.

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Employers can be liable for harassment of workers not only by other workers, but also by customers. But often, managers who’d have no qualms about investigating—or firing—a harassing co-worker are nervous about jeopardizing a customer relationship.

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Some people are born leaders, but all of us can develop our competencies and be better leaders. To help identify your obstacles to leadership, answer “Yes” or “No” to the following statements:

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Having trouble staying focused because you’re constantly interrupted? Here are some tips from consultant Laura Stack (“The Productivity Pro”):

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As a hands-on manager, you’re in the perfect position to fight boredom at work. This means you can head off the mistakes, missed opportunities, absenteeism and turnover that result when work becomes too routine. Here are some techniques to try:

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If your people feel overworked, does it matter? And what can you do about it? The answers are “yes” and “more than you may think.” Some insights and ideas:

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We all know how terrified most people are to speak in public. If you want your team members to master this fear and become effective group communicators, try these techniques:

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When Dominic, your manager, calls you into his office with that “serious” expression on his face, you can’t imagine what’s up. “Are you aware that Wanda has been seeing Blaine socially?” Blaine had been your team’s shining star for more than five years before leaving six months ago …

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When good workers seem to be simply going through the motions, it may be because they’re riding on the career merry-go-round—wanting to try something new, but unable to get away from what they’re already doing. Here are some questions to ask them:

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Over the years we’ve come to realize that if there’s a perfect performance appraisal system, nobody knows about it. Here’s some expert advice to help you avoid problems that seem to vex many managers:

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