7 Questions to Ask Your New Boss

  1. Who should I meet with outside of our team? Your ability to figure out how to influence others will improve if you can get to a quick understanding of the unspoken or informal networks that govern the social dynamics of your new team or organization. Your boss is ideally placed to provide you with this intel.
  2. How do you prefer to communicate? It is important to

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Strengths-Based Questions

If you’re involved in activities that you’re already naturally inclined to do well, your attitude toward work is different and you contribute more to your workplace compared with someone who may have similar skills but less natural ability. Doing what you do best is essential to being a star performer at work. As an employee, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I

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Fixing a Bad Relationship With Your Boss

If faced with a boss who does not treat you the way you prefer, here are important steps

  1. Write a description of the problem; what you want, how the boss responds (or doesn’t), what you have done about it so far.
  2. Read the description as if you are the boss, constructing at least two alternate explanations of the boss’s behavior. Think about how the boss’s role

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Personal Networks: 6 Important Dimensions

There are many ways to assess the composition of your network and its impact on performance, learning and innovation. For example, sociologists commonly look at the effect of certain similarities between people-such as age, race, education, and gender-on clustering in networks. But these demographics do not always illustrate the subtle means by which one’s contacts affect learning. In many coaching sessions with managers at all … [ Read more ]

Tips to Perpetual Career Management

  1. At the end of each week, document your accomplishments. This will ensure that you have an accurate record of the value you provide, making it easier to update your resume.
  2. Google yourself every Monday morning and ask yourself whether the results truly reflect what makes you unique and compelling. Determine what you need to do to build a stellar online identity.
  3. Update your resume regularly. Every month,

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12 Strategies for Ensuring Long-Term Job Security

Employment attorney Richard C. Busse, author “Fired, Laid-Off or Forced Out,” offers the following suggestions for building workplace power:

  1. Learn to like the people you work with. Look for things you can respect in your co-workers. You don’t want to send signals that you don’t like them, because they’re not going to like you either. And that vibe will surely get around.
  2. Communicate often with your

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Surviving Office Politics

If your organization is rife with politics, improve your chances of survival by following these simple rules.

  • Observe the organization’s political style without getting involved in political struggles until you’re sure you know what’s going on. If you notice inconsistencies in the way the organization operates, continue to watch until you can more completely understand what the patterns and motivations are.
  • Build a network of

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Increase Your Visibility

Often your organizational visibility goes up when you increase your visibility in other arenas. Why not publish articles in trade or professional magazines or accept invitations (or volunteer) to speak at conferences? If you want to raise your visibility closer to home to demonstrate your commitment to the community, you could get involved in local politics. The point is that a nose-to-the-grindstone demeanor isn’t always … [ Read more ]

10 Common Types of Bosses

  1. The Visionary. Creates a reality-distortion field that makes people believe the improbable.
  2. The Climber. Desperately wants to get to the top.
  3. The Bureaucrat. Believes the world would fall apart without rules and regulations.
  4. The Propeller-head. Used to be a top performing engineer.
  5. The Fogey. Been around since the days

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Troubleshoot Bad Boss Behavior

BNET asked five seasoned executives how they’ve tamed bosses with behavior problems. Here’s what they had to say.

  • Chronic Micromanagement
    Your Solution: Build a detailed plan for your projects, with regular milestones where you will report back for feedback. Invite your boss to review the plan and adjust it as necessary.
  • Vague Priorities
    Your Solution: Based on your best understanding, write

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Lyle’s Law of Becoming

Velocity–or rate of change–is important in many different kinds of systems. While you need to know where you are, it is often even more essential to know how fast you are going and in which direction you are heading. When applied to human beings, this becomes Lyle’s Law of Becoming: What you are becoming is as important as what you are doing.

Taking … [ Read more ]

Mastering Office Politics

Online author Barbara Oaff says that experts define office politics as “the way in which workers recognize, and seek to reconcile, their competing interests.” No matter the size of your company, country, or association, all politics are local. In other words, your team or workgroup’s politics define who gets noticed and rewarded. Therefore, an initial step in mastering office politics is uncovering how things get … [ Read more ]

David Allen’s Productivity Tips

Weekly Reviews

At the heart of David Allen’s productivity coaching is the discipline of a weekly review. “That is critical to making personal organization a vital, dynamic reality,” he says. Here, adapted from Allen’s Web site, is a list of steps that you should work your way through every Friday afternoon.

  1. Sort your loose papers. Gather all scraps of paper—business cards, receipts, miscellaneous notes—and

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Handling Your Promotion: What to Expect When You’re the New Boss

When you become the boss, your former peers will fall into one of four categories:

  1. Leavers are those who, for a variety of reasons, won’t stick around. Let them go. Holding on to people who have already psychologically separated themselves from the organization is, at best, a temporary victory. At worst, you have marginally motivated employees who are probably second-guessing their decisions to stay. You

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Redefine Your Relationships

Now that you’re in charge, you will need to balance the pull of the past with the requirements of the new job, which call for you to play a bigger role in the operation of the company.

You have friends in the organization, and you will want to keep them. At the same time, you must avoid favoritism. You can do this by … [ Read more ]

Improving Your Management Skills

Mary Dee Hicks, senior vice president of Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a human resources consulting firm in Minneapolis advises all managers to see what their individual management profile is, and then work to improve their own areas of deficiency. How? By gathering good information about where you stand relative to what’s expected of you. Hicks suggests that financial managers who are interested in improving their … [ Read more ]

6 Types of Equity

How can you gain leverage in your job? There is a way, which can be highly liberating. It allows people at every level of an organization to act with integrity and intelligence to pursue what they most want and what they believe is best for the organization. You must build your organizational equity — a kind of equity that you can create yourself, that increases … [ Read more ]

9 Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career

  1. Act your way into a new way of thinking and being. You cannot discover yourself by introspection.
    Start by changing what you do. Try different paths. Take action, and then use the feedback from your actions to figure out what you think, feel, and want. Don’t try to analyze or plan your way into a new career. Conventional strategies advocated by self-assessment manuals and traditional

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12 Behavior Patterns that Keep You from Getting Ahead

In their book, Maximum Success: Changing the 12 Behavior Patterns that Keep You from Getting Ahead, authors James Waldroop and Timothy Butler, Directors of MBA Career Development at The Harvard Business School, identify the 12 habits, or Achilles’ heels, that can hold you back from getting ahead on the career front.

  1. Never Feeling Good Enough

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Managing a New Boss

Here’s a tip that may help you for the remainder of your career. If you want to succeed, don’t expect your boss to manage you. Instead, you must learn to manage your boss. Success doesn’t always come from doing your job well. More often, it comes from making your manager look good.

“To move up in a company, you have to manage your boss,” says … [ Read more ]