Q: I’ve got a perfectly good employee with one annoying habit: He’s chronically late for meetings. I’ve repeatedly asked him why. I get excuses, not answers. I’ve started to disinvite him to meetings, but then he complains that he’s left out. Help!
Q: A top executive here told me, “Don’t trust Jim. Everyone knows he’s a liar.” Jim is one of our senior executives. I would never trust Jim; I figured that out years ago! I’m more concerned that the executive felt a need to badmouth Jim, his peer. Am I wrong to think less of the guy who said this?
Q: It drives me crazy how our CEO loves to pay for overpriced consultants to tell us what we already know (or at least what I could’ve told the CEO for free). I’m never asked for my opinion. What’s a diplomatic way for me to convey my concern?
Q: I have a budding star who I’m grooming for a senior role here. I keep hearing I should move him around to different jobs, exposing him to new challenges. But he loves his current job, and he’s outperforming everybody. Why change what works so well?
Q: My most recent promotion was a big deal, and I keep hearing I’m being groomed for a top job here. But the new job requires almost constant travel. I hate airports, especially with those long lines and delays. But I fear if I gripe about the travel, I’ll look bad. Help!
Q: Every few months, I have to give a presentation to the board of directors. One of the board members repeatedly interrupts me, often rudely, with rambling questions or irrelevant comments. He breaks my rhythm and steals my thunder. How can I shut him up?
Q: I manage someone who’s so confident that he won’t admit what he doesn’t know. He says yes to every assignment, even if he has no idea what the task requires. He reassures me that he’ll figure it out, but then he lets me down. How should I respond?
Q. I got into an argument with my manager over the best way to handle a dicey situation, and tempers flared a bit. The next day, I emailed him a half-hearted apology while joking that I still think I’m right. Now he’s madder than ever at me. What did I do wrong?
Q. I have a co-worker who’s driving me crazy. He taunts me about my fast and accurate work (he’s error-prone), and he thinks I’m a “goody two-shoes.” I’ve tried to talk to him but he’s never going to let up. I guess I should talk to my supervisor, right?
Q: Employees keep telling me we should be like other employers that let staffers vote on everything from what temperature to set the thermostat to what soundtrack to play in common areas. This strikes me as a silly trend that’ll soon pass. But I shouldn’t say that, right?