This collection of tips and tricks can make your work life more productive, no matter whether your office is in a cubicle farm, in your car, on your couch, or even at your kitchen table. Because everyone has a boss, this installment of The Help Files contains hints on managing up. In other words, how to handle your boss so she gives you the reaction and the results you want. To quote my wife, Samantha Cardimon, “If your boss can’t manage you, then you have to manage your boss.”
Bosses hear about lots of problems. Many times they are expected to solve them, too. If you have a problem, by all means let your boss know, but take the time first to think of a possible solution. If you can tell your boss about your problem AND say “Here’s a potential solution,” you’re showing her that you don’t need hand-holding. You are a problem-solver with entrepreneurial spirit. Tracey Parsons has three more phrases for you to use when certain situations arise.
Everyone has bad days, including your boss. Confronting a co-worker who is having a bad day might be okay, but confronting your boss for any reason seldom is. Beth Taylor offers three ways to deal with a boss who is being difficult.
I heard a piece of wisdom that says you don’t work for you company. Your boss works for your company. You work for your boss. I must agree. After all, your boss is responsible for any raises you get as well as any promotions you are granted. When contracts are lost, the company is losing money, and management orders your boss to reduce headcount, she is the one who will either save your job or throw you under the bus. Best if your boss views you in a favorable light. Whitson Gordon of Lifehacker offers 10 solid ways to make your boss love you.
Telecommuting or remote working is all the rage now. We have the technology to allow us to work from our kitchen tables, couches, and cars. Problem is, how to convince your boss to let you work from home. After all, if she can’t SEE you working, how does she KNOW that you’re working? Out of sight, out of mind, right? Bill Murphy Jr. from Inc.com offers a 7-step plan for easing into the world of remote working.
No one likes delivering bad news. After all, doesn’t the messenger always get killed? Delivering bad news to your boss is never pleasant, but you can mitigate the effects and manage your boss’s reaction to some extent. Sara McCord from TheMuse.com tells you how in 3 steps. I followed these very steps myself when an online knowledge base I was building blew up. It was not my fault, but I lost several days of work. Long story short: I told my boss what happened and what I was doing at that very moment to fix it.
Let’s face it. We all like to criticize. We should, however, be careful how we do it. Criticize a friend? Sure. Criticize an office colleague? Maybe. Criticize your spouse? You first. Criticize your boss? No way. I like my job. A situation may arise when you must criticize your manager, but how should you do it? That’s like sticking your head inside the lion’s mouth. Nicolas Gremion shows you how to criticize your boss AND save your job at the same time.
Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content developers? Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Send me a Tweet: @craigcardimon.