Do You Intimidate Your Boss? If everyone was actually as kind, considerate, and mature as they’re supposed to be at work, I wouldn’t need to write this nor you read it. However, that’s no more true at work than in life. So you may find yourself in the uncomfortable position of suspecting you intimidate your boss, however inadvertently. What does intimidate mean? I’m not of course talking about physical threats or even verbal. These are ma...

Harmony by Keeping Quiet An option is always to keep your head down when the big guns of conflict come out. Sometimes keeping quiet is a good idea and sometimes not. Let’s talk about this possibility. Why keeping quiet is a bad idea You wouldn’t be representing your group well. A potentially good idea will get lost. A sub-optimal solution might be adopted. You might be wimping out by not speaking up. It’s good for the company The reasons ab...

Benefiting from the Need for Agreement In the last post, you attempted to table a proposal but were left hung out to dry. You hadn’t realized that the need for agreement trumped support for a good idea. Are you doomed to let Tod run the show? Not necessarily. You can be aware, respect, and even use the need for agreement. Let’s rewind and redo the meeting. The second meeting (reprise)   YOU: I’d like to table my proposal. Tod: We have to d...

Challenging Aggressive Words In the last post, you had an ugly meeting. Tod from Finance tried to grab the whole contracting process and went ballistic when people objected. You’ve had an idea you think would work. But the way things are going, it’s likely to be tough to get the idea heard. Challenging Tod’s aggressive words may be the only way. What can you do to get your idea heard? If you try to table it over Tod’s aggressive approach,...

Combat in the Workplace Your boss has chosen you to represent Customer Relations in a cross-departmental group to streamline a process. Things have come to a head because your biggest customer is threatening to use a competitor if your company can’t fix the slow process. You expect some combat to get it done. The first meeting. Or combat Tod (Finance): The solution is clear. Finance taking the lead will speed things up a whole lot. YOU: How do ...

I Lied on the Report

    I Lied on the Report In the previous post, you lied on a report by projecting a six week cost overrun rather than the three months likely. This is so the executive committee will give you the second half money to get you back on track. You push the send button to give the report to your boss, Rhonda, to present to the committee. What happens if you push the SEND button? With your boss It is as if Rhonda has been at her desk waitin...

I’d Never Lie—Would I?

    I’d Never Lie—Would I? You manage a software development group which has a multi-year project. It’s been one disaster after another. The first year, the client kept changing the specs. By the time that was sorted, you were almost six weeks behind. In the second year, the programmers ran into all kinds of problems not foreseen by the (now fired) systems architect. The programming started almost three months late. However, som...

How Do I Get Power/Influence?

  How Do I Get Power/ Influence? Let’s say you’ve recognized that you need to have influence or power in your job, either to move ahead or avoid falling behind. First and as a given, you need to do your present job exceptionally well even if it’s a joe job and you know you’d be more successful at a higher level. Bosses don’t promote people who are doing a crummy job, no matter the reason. However, that’s not enough. To posi...

Power Matters to You

  Power Matters to You In the last post, you were vying to develop a new company service. Despite your and Sarah’s best efforts, but power hungry Mike positioned himself as the only one to do it. Why should you care? So, why does this matter? You may be thinking that you’re not power-hungry so this undercurrent can’t or shouldn’t affect you. (My definition of power is later if you’re interested.) After all, you’ve got a job...

Power—Work’s Hidden Engine

    Power—Work’s Hidden Engine As I mentioned in a previous post, there are at least five undercurrents in organizations. Power is an important one. Here’s an example of how it’s used at work. Power at work Your company manufactures greeting cards. You are meeting with your boss Galen and your peer managers. Galen is a nice guy but to your mind, too much under the influence of Mike, one of your peers. Galen: Alicia [Galen’s ...