Tag Archives: management

Boss Types, Part 1: The Bad and the Not-So-Great

There are 7.7 billion people in the world. Each one of them with their own values, culture, hopes and dreams. And some of those 7.7 billion people are bosses, each one of them different and unique.

And unique isn’t always a good thing.

Some bosses just aren’t that great. They come to work late, yell at employees, and everyone wonders how they got their position. They prioritize their own needs above those of the group, causing bad blood and major conflict.

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4 Secrets to Getting a Promotion

Get Your Dream Position with These Quick Tips

Getting a promotion isn’t easy. There are only so many upper level positions, and competition is fierce. It’s important to be ready when those openings arise.

How? By being prepared. Earning the right to ask for a promotion isn’t a question of tenure or age—it’s a byproduct of knowing not only the inner workings of your own job, but also those of the company you work for and the position you want.

Here are four secrets to getting a promotion.

Know What You Want

Management isn’t for everyone. Before you ask for a promotion, ask yourself if being a leader is what you want. Do you desire the position for the title and accolades or because you truly want to manage and inspire others? If it’s just for financial reasons, consider asking for a raise instead. You may also want to consider applying for a position in another department, depending on your interests.

Management isn’t easy. Leadership can seem fun, but there are numerous responsibilities that come with such status, including handling billing and budgets, managing deadlines, and dealing with unhappy or sick employees. And that’s only a partial list!

Speak with Leadership

Once you’ve been at the company for some time and have earned your stripes with proven performance and knowledge of the company, talk to your manager. Let them know you’re out to achieve a promotion if the opportunity arises. Come with proven examples of your ability to rally, push, and inspire others, as well as metrics regarding your own performance.

Find a mentor at your company who can push you to succeed and speak candidly about areas in which you need improvement. Not every leadership experience is going to be a great one. A mentor can help you realize what went wrong and what you can do in the future to minimize those problems. Leaders don’t want novices in management roles; they promote those with demonstrated performance.

Be Prepared

A management position could open at any time. Therefore, preparation is key. A promotion isn’t something you get because you’ve been working at the company a certain amount of time. You only get the job if you’re the right fit at the right time.

Watch those who hold positions that may be attainable in the not so distant future. Unless your department expands, these are most likely your only options. Although you don’t want to be a direct copy of the individual currently in the position, make sure you exemplify the qualities of the role. Do your research! If they started working 15 years ago, you’ll need to know everything they learned in those 15 years.

Seek out team leader roles in projects and take initiative to show you can lead a team. This also gives you time to discover your own leadership style, and how to handle appropriate conversations with others in your team.

Apply

At the end of the day, you have to make your case. That means waiting for an opening or proving there is currently a need for a new management position. If you aren’t up to creating your own role (with detailed metrics regarding why that role needs to exist), you must wait.

If the leadership role is open to everyone, you’ll be able to apply. If it’s only open to a select few, you’ll have to hope your prior discussion with leadership will cause them to notice you as a great candidate.

Have you ever gotten a promotion? How did you achieve it? Let us know in the comments below!

What Type of Boss Do You Have?

And what does that mean for you, as an employee?

Throughout our lives, we’ve all worked for a variety of bosses. Some are compassionate and inspire us to excel in a number of ways. Others are independent leaders who have a tendency to be more assertive.

Daniel Goleman, of the Harvard Business School Press, outlines six basic boss types, illustrated below in an infographic by the Quid Corner, an online financial resource center. Although we all have our own ideal management type, the graphic also outlines the optimal ways to get along with each type of boss. So even if your manager isn’t naturally compatible with you, you’ll have some idea of how best to get along with them.

 

The ABC’s of Learning to Like Your Boss

ABC_LikeYourBoss_July2013_WebWhen you’re with someone at least 40 hours a week at work, it can make life a lot easier if you like being around that person. And that’s especially true if that someone is your manager. Depending on how well your interests and personalities match up, though, liking your boss may not be easy or come naturally. But, it’s not impossible. Just try to follow the ABC’s.

Accept who your boss is.
Bond over a similar interest.
Communicate regularly so you understand your boss’ communication style.
Decide to have a positive attitude about your boss.
Empathize with your boss.
Focus on your boss’ strengths.
Guard against gossiping about your boss.
Hear what your boss is truly trying to say.
Identify areas of the relationship you can improve on.
Join with your boss for a common cause.
Keep trying – don’t give up.
Laugh together.
Meet on a regular basis to discuss projects and goals.
Notice when your boss does something right.
Offer to help your boss with a big project.
Prevent miscommunications or hurt feelings from getting out of hand.
Quit making your boss the bad guy.
Recognize when your boss is trying to improve.
Steer clear of things you know you disagree on.
Talk with your boss about their professional and personal goals.
Understand what drives your boss.
Visit with your boss if there is an open-door policy.
Walk a mile in your boss’ shoes.
eXtend your boss grace when there’s a mistake.
Yield your need to always be right.
Zap your negative attitude.

What bit of advice do you have for building a positive relationship with your boss? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lies we Tell Our Boss

Lies we Tell Our BossSometimes we can’t help it. While we may not be the office Pinocchio, spouting lies while our noses get increasingly bigger. There may be times in our career we are tempted to  stretch and bend the truth in little ways just enough to stay out of the hot seat with our boss.

This kind of dishonesty doesn’t come from bad, self-serving, or malicious motivations. It often stems from the desire to please others, even if it’s at our own expense. In the long run, these little lies, while made with good intentions, can not only interfere with your best interest, but also you co-workers’ and managements’ interest as well.

Sometimes lying can be so easy, we may not even realize we’re doing it until it’s too late. Here are some basic lies we tell our bosses and solutions in how we could better handle the situation.

No Questions Here
Remember that rush of excitement after receiving that first big solo assignment? There is also that sinking feeling when the instructions or guidance didn’t make any sense. The boss asked if there were any questions, but nobody wants to be that person who doesn’t understand what’s going on, so no questions were asked.

The problem is that if we have questions, we will need the answers in order to do the job right. If you are worried about sounding unintelligent, preface the questions with, “I just want to be certain I completely understand everything.” It’s better to clarify and do a great job than to appear competent and not meet expectations.

I’m on it
Sometimes it can be a normal workday with a full work load, then the boss walks in to ask one more favor or task to take care of that day. Instead of being honest with how much work that request adds to your work load, a whole hearted, “I’d be happy to” is heard with a giant grin.

The manager expects those who make promises to keep their word. If a new assignment interferes with other job duties, ask the supervisor which tasks have the highest priorities so the most important tasks are completed first. The boss may have just forgotten how much work is on each employee’s plate and can find someone with a lighter load.

Everything is Going According to Plan
For a while, this may be true. Project timelines and scheduled events may be perfectly on task, but life will always get in the way of even the most perfect of plans. It happens to the hardest of workers, but nobody wants to appear behind schedule. That’s why most workers who fall behind on their duties will wipe their forehead and say, “Everything is fine!” when the boss asks how the project is coming along.

Juggling multiple projects might not seem like a big deal as long as everything is finished by the deadline, but lying about the status leaves no room to act should something go wrong before then. There might be a moment when input from the boss is needed before proceeding with a project, but the lie could have kept any questions from being asked since the manager was told that the specific part had already been completed. It’s just better to be honest with a sincere, “I’m working on it.”

Little white lies may seem innocent and are often told with the best of intentions, but they can come back in the long run and disrupt the workplace before anyone realizes it. Honesty is always the best policies and managers are more forgiving when mistakes come from sincerity. What are some of the other big lies told to bosses that come back to wreak havoc on the workplace?

Don’t Clock Out Until You’ve Done These 3 Things

End your DayHave you ever been at work when you notice there’s only 30 minutes left in your shift? It’s usually not enough time to start a new project, but it’s also too early for you to go home, so you watch your clock as it slowly ticks away until it’s time to leave. This happens more often than not, but what can you do to finish out your workday on a positive and productive note?

How you finish your workday is critical as it holds a large impact on your work, productivity, and attitude. Take time at the end of your shift to get you ready for tomorrow. So here are three ways you can end your workday better and stronger.

Review and Plan
The first thing you to do is look over your to-do list to find out if you’re where you need to be. There might be some assignments you’ve overlooked or a reminder of what needs to be finished before you leave. If you don’t like your progress, plan what you need to do and when you’ll get it done so you don’t get further behind.

This is your chance to reflect. Think about what you’ve accomplished and how good it feels to be productive. If you’ve fallen short on some tasks, take the time to make a new to-do list. Determine what needs to be finished tomorrow and how you’re going to do it. If you have a new to-do list, you’ll have a head start the next day and be more productive.

Check-In and Check-Out
Depending on the type of working relationship you have with your manager, visit with one or all of your supervisors to discuss the progress of any tasks you’re working on. This way, you can get caught up on any updates or changes that need to be made. Check in with co-workers to get any updates from them and to make sure everyone is one the same page.

Talking to your boss and colleagues will not only help everybody stay on task easier, but there are real emotional benefits from saying goodbye to people before leaving. Most people think it’s important to say hello in the morning, but it’s just as vital to say goodbye instead of silently heading out the door. By giving proper farewells or even an honest compliment, you are showing co-workers and managers that you care and can improve everybody’s mood throughout the day.

Tidy up and Shut Down
It’s rather defeating to walk away from a big mess after a busy day, which confronts you in the morning or after a fun weekend. Before leaving, clean your workplace by organizing your desk, throwing away trash, or cleaning and storing your tools. When you come to a clean workplace in the morning, it gives you a feeling of starting the day off fresh.

If you work in an office setting, you can use the last of your time to clean your email inbox of forwards, newsletters, and any other old messages. Emails can back up quickly increasing your chance of missing important information.

It’s also important to shut down when leaving. Leave your stress and worries at work. Turn everything off and disconnect yourself from your network. Turn off your smart phone or disable email alerts and enjoy your time off to recharge.

If you use your last few minutes to end your workday right, you’ll be more productive and will be less likely to feel drained and burned out. What are some ways you have made the most out of the end of your workday?

8 Ways to Move Into Management

move into manangement ready for promotionIf you’re looking to take the next step in your career and move into a management position, it’s important to show others that you can do the job.

A management role brings a new title and often a higher salary, but it also brings new responsibilities. How can you tell if you’re management material?

Executives look for certain traits and qualities when they’re reviewing candidates for a management position. Here are eight tips to give you the leg up as you look toward a role in management.

1. Model yourself after other managers and leaders. Look for managers, supervisors, and leaders in your workplace who are well-liked and respected. Observe how they interact with others, and duplicate their actions. They’re admired for a reason, so if you follow in their footsteps chances are, you’ll be favored too.

2. Display a solid work ethic. When you’re looking to move into another position, make sure you continue to fulfill your current position’s responsibilities. If you start slacking off on your duties when a higher position catches your eye, supervisors will take notice and may think you’ll demonstrate the same work ethic in a new role. Prove you’re a hard worker, and you’ll be recognized for your commitment and dependability. When you give 110% to your tasks, you’ll stand out and have the edge over equally qualified candidates.

3. Volunteer for extra work. Once you’ve completed all of your tasks, offer to take on a new task or help a co-worker complete a project. Taking on new responsibilities will help you familiarize yourself with other operations you may oversee as a manager. Then you’ll be able to add your new capabilities to your résumé.

4. Excel at working with others. Learn to play a variety of roles on your team, because there will be different times when you need to be a leader, participant, and supporter. As a coach, take the lead and guide others when they need assistance. As a team player, be cooperative and considerate of others without trying to overrule them. And as the team cheerleader, encourage and praise others for their efforts.

5. Keep your skills competitive. Take advantage of every opportunity to improve your skills. Participate in leadership classes, because as a manager you’ll need to know how to effectively lead. Also, enroll in training courses and seminars that cover topics related to your field. With a wider knowledge base and higher skill level, you’ll be a prime candidate for management positions.

6. Share your ambitions with your boss. Talk to your supervisor and let him or her know you’re interested in moving into a management position. Tell them why you think you’re ready to take the next step in your career, and ask for their help, suggestions, or feedback. Your supervisor can help you develop the necessary skills to become an effective manager and can act as a mentor during your career move. If you’re looking to move up within the company, you’ll probably need your boss’s approval anyway, so it’s best to get their support in advance.

7. Practice your management skills. Work on increasing your strengths and turning your weaknesses into strengths. Volunteer for an organization or civic group within your community so you can gain experience managing a small group. Make sure to practice the skills you’ll need as a manager, such as communication, scheduling projects, creating timelines, allocating resources, and budgeting funds.

8. Dress the part. For any manager to be taken seriously, they have to dress appropriately. Show the hiring manager and other executives that you can professionally represent the company by dressing the part. If you don’t make the right impression through your appearance, you might be passed up for the job for someone with equal qualifications with a more professional look. Remember, dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

If it’s time to take the next step in your career and move into a management position, make sure that you are prepared to do so. Update your skills, put your experience to practice, and demonstrate your qualifications before you make the jump. Put yourself ahead of the other candidates and land the promotion you’re after by getting yourself ready for the job now.