Important Discussions with Your Boss – Everything is a Negotiation

Often, I see clients put off important discussions with their bosses because they aren’t really sure how to structure them and fear they may come off as expecting too much and eventually feel rejected. This is unwise. A little preparation can earn you respect and what you want. 

How to prepare for the meeting: 

  1. Ask for a specific meeting date/time. This will underscore its importance. Don’t have the discussion after another meeting or as a sidebar conversation. Label the meeting something that is important to the organization – not yourself: ABC Company Priorities and (Your Department).
  2. What’s the goal? This meeting is not a discussion. You are not mind mapping here. It is a negotiation. Know what you want to occur by the end of the meeting: i.e., I will now spend my time working on important projects, not things that are randomly assigned to me. I have an idea on how to minimize those things and who is more appropriate to do them.
  3. Know your...
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Three Ways to Manage Up When You Have a Bad Boss

One of the tests of being a leader is knowing how to navigate a boss who doesn’t score highly as a leader him/herself.

Mapping a Course to Manage a Difficult Boss 

  1. Manage Yourself 

Start from the perspective that the disconnect might be a miscommunication. “I want to make sure I understand what you need from me.” Then clarify.  

If you internalize a bad boss’s anger, insecurity or lack of skill you could allow your weaknesses to show instead of your strengths to shine. Their lack of confidence, disorganization or lack of inclusiveness is about them. Not you. Don’t mirror their insecurity. Be self-aware. Who are you when under fire? How do you demonstrate grace and grit – executive presence? If your work life were a movie who would play you and what would he/she do in your situation? 

Be a mindful third-party observer of your own thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself what is really going on with you? What are you afraid...

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