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Dealing with Bosses

Even a good boss is a challenge. But when you’re dealing with bosses, dealing with difficult bosses makes everything twice as hard.

It can often feel as if you’re the one managing the boss. Business Management Daily shows you how to transform you and your boss into an efficient, unstoppable team.

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Cutting training willy-nilly just to save money can create more problems than it solves. During economic downturns, companies need efficient, targeted training programs to improve productivity. And effective training positions companies to prosper as the economy recovers. To examine training programs and avoid eliminating those that do work, ask the following questions:

If your boss micromanages and drives you crazy, forge a stronger relationship with him or her. For example, practice the "art" of communication, says Harry E. Chambers, author of My Way or the Highway—the Micromanagement Survival Guide. “Show that you’re in motion on priority projects by communicating in three specific terms: awareness, reassurance and timelines."

As Administrative Professionals Week (April 19-25) approached, we couldn’t help but wonder what crazy things bosses have asked admins to do. So we asked readers of our Admin Pro Forum to tell us about the most unusual or bizarre thing their boss ever asked them to do. For starters: "Open his sandwich every day to make sure no tomatoes were on it."

Cheaper child care is increasingly necessary as budgets tighten, says Lisa Belkin, a New York Times reporter who covers workplace issues. Here are some of the creative ways working families are reducing the costs.

She steals credit for your work, blames you for something that you didn’t do or attempts to damage your reputation: the workplace saboteur. Saboteurs are most apt to strike in a weak economy like the current one, business psychologist Wendy Alfus Rothman tells The Wall Street Journal.

In Working Girl, Melanie Griffith overhauls her appearance so others will take her seriously. In the real world, it takes more than a wardrobe change to lift your on-the-job reputation from “wet behind the ears” to “wise beyond your years.” Indeed, changing the perception others have of you at work can take up to 18 months ...

The turnover rate is high at your company. You’re even conducting exit interviews with every departing employee to find out what’s going on, but nobody talks. Chances are you’ve got some bad bosses. Maybe even some bullies. Only recently have scientists started looking at why cruel bosses thrive.

Save time by storing “canned responses” on Gmail for commonly asked questions ... Halt interruptions by giving your physical space a makeover ...  Turn voice-mail messages from your mobile, home or work phone into e-mail messages ... Earn the mantle of “too valuable to lose”...

You expect your managers to possess basic values, communicate clearly and act like responsible adults. But sometimes, you get a bad apple. If you’re regretting a management hire, first judge the degree of badness. A “continuum of badness” has been developed to help you.

BusinessWeek readers have identified their top six workplace challenges: work/life balance, staying “entrepreneurial,” toxic bosses, time management, negotiating bureaucracy and generational tension ...
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