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Deal with these 3 boss dilemmas

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

You spend so much of your time at work, and issues with your boss are bound to pop up. Take this advice when your boss …

Departs unexpectedly. Perhaps your boss was fired, had to take a leave of absence or quit without offering much notice. Whatever you do, don’t panic and assume your boss’s replacement will be a tyrant. Keep a positive attitude and reserve any judgment until you see the manager in action. Be helpful and do everything you can to keep things running smoothly until the new boss is up to speed. Doing so will start you off on the right foot with your new manager, and it builds your reputation as a team player within the organization.

Assigns you more work than you can handle. The occasional feeling of being overwhelmed is expected; however, if your workload has become completely unmanageable, speak up. Schedule a meeting with your boss—ideally when he or she is not slammed—to explain the situation and receive help in prioritizing your workload. Come prepared to share solutions—rather than just complaining. For example, “I’ll gladly take over the XYZ account for Jenna, but I’ll need someone else to take on some of my administrative duties.”

Gives you a bad performance review. If you have performed badly, you likely know it because your manager has provided negative feedback or indicated that he or she doubts your abilities or work ethic. However, if the negative feedback takes you by surprise don’t immediately defend yourself or make excuses. Instead, ensure that you fully understand your manager’s concerns. Ask questions, listen carefully, gain clarification and request that your boss tell you exactly what you need to do to meet the expectations of the job. Then verbally commit to making the improvements. If you feel your boss is being unfair and you have evidence to back that up, you may need to schedule a meeting with HR to discuss the review, particularly if a raise, bonus or promotion is on the line.

—Adapted from “8 Work Dilemmas You’ll Likely Face—and How to Overcome Them,” Alison Green, Daily Worth,

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