Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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What? Manage My Boss?

It's hard to believe, but some people think you really can learn to manage your boss, instead of the other way around.

Those few include Dr. Karol Wasylyshyn, a psychologist with The Leadership Development Forum, who wrote Behind the Executive door: Unexpected Lessons for Managing Your Boss and Your Career.

To defend the need for her book, she cites a recent study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science that found that employee satisfaction affects a company's bottom line. Only 45 percent of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, down from 61 percent in 1987, according to the Conference Board's annual survey.  This is the lowest level in the history of the survey and emphasizes that employees are nervous and many may feel trapped in an unpleasant work environment because of the meager economic landscape.
So Dr. Wasylyshyn's book offers a way to change that. 
The first step is to determine whether you have a Remarkable, Toxic or Perilous boss, categories Wasylyshyn identified through research based on 300-executive coaching cases.
You have a Remarkable boss if he/she is well-attuned to the concerns and aspirations of others, blend both facts and people considerations in their decision-making, and have healthy egos focused on business success versus just getting their own selfish needs met. To make the most of working for a high-achieving and inspirational Remarkable leader, as well as increasing your value to the company, follow these tips:
* Build a reciprocal relationship - Replace "What's in it for me?" with "What's in it for us?"
* Accelerate results - Call out colleagues on the differences between being busy and getting results.
* Be an enterprise player - Get out of your silo; share your knowledge and work collaboratively among departments.
You have a Perilous boss if, despite his/her intelligence, they are chronically critical and dissatisfied, inconsistent in their management of others, and moody. To reinforce the best behaviors with this discontented type:
* Clothe the Emperor - Keep the boss tuned into employees' real concerns including aberrations in his leadership style.
* Connect head and heart - Coach him/her away from overly content-based behavior and toward an integration of objective (data) and subjective (people) factors.
* Be a mirror for bold actions - Strive to be the person the boss can turn to as a litmus test or emergency brake before taking audacious action.
You have a Toxic boss if he/she is tempestuous, has no concern about the impact of his/her behavior on others, is totally egocentric. To minimize a toxic supervisor's destructive effects:
* Plan an escape route - Sometimes the best way to soothe the insanity is to start figuring your way out.
* Believe in yourself - Stay steady in the belief that your talents, intelligence and accomplishments are yours regardless of how your boss may criticize or fail to recognize your work.
* Bond with your peers - Collaborate with coworkers to preemptively resolve issues that could stand in the way of your respective successes at work.
Keep in mind that no leader is only one "type" of boss. Dr. Wasylyshyn believes that all leaders move along a continuum from remarkable to toxic behavior, so the better able you are to recognize boss behavior, the more effective you'll be at making the day-by-day adjustments necessary to manage them effectively. 

So can you manage your boss???? It's worth a try. ###




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