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Dr. Greg Segment Summary

Manage Your Boss

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 8/7/04

Your relationship with your boss is one of the most important relationships in your life, not more important than family, because your boss is a key player in the course of your career.

Be Proactive
Be very proactive in managing the boss relationship. In the old days organizations were more “command & control” so employees were in a more passive role expecting the boss to tell them what to do. Now people are being given much more responsibility and autonomy. Bosses are too busy to be thinking much about their relationship with you as they are under pressure to deliver results, so it’s up to insure you get what you need & that you succeed.

Let’s Look at Some Statistics First
  1. Gallup poll of more than 1 million US workers found that the #1 reason people quite their jobs is a bad boss. People leave managers not companies.

  2. Further, Gallup found that poorly managed work groups are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed groups.

  3. Web site Badbossology.com surveyed 1,118 people & found that half would fire our boss if we could, 30% would send their boss to a workplace psychologist, but only 23% would send them to management training.

What to Do
We know you need to take a proactive role in managing that relationship and here are some ideas for you. Remember, you can’t change your boss so you’ve got to change yourself. This is also called “managing up.”

  1. Success Lies in Managing Expectations & Priorities: Have a meeting to determine what your boss expects of you and what s/he sees as the priorities of your role. Write it down. Manage to expectations.

  2. Learn How to Communicate & Deliver News: How does your boss prefer news? Email, vm, memo, in person? Do they want details or overview?

  3. Come Up with Solutions, Not Problems: If you’ve got an issue or problem go to your boss with a couple of solutions, not just the problem.

  4. Learn How to Sell Your Ideas: To get what you want & get your ideas accepted you’ve got to learn how to “sell,” make the case for them.

  5. Help Your Boss to Be Successful: This is one of your main goals. If your boss is successful, you’ll most likely be successful.

In a future segment we’ll talk specifically about how to manage a “bad” boss, the bully, harasser, incompetent or the boss who want to be your “pal.”

If you’ve got work or career topics you’d like to see us address, just send me an email at drgreg@talentplanet.com.

®2004 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Career Advice

Dr. Greg is the “KRON 4 (San Francisco) Workplace and Career Expert”

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