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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Put Your Head Down and Work

Q.1 I'm head of a maintenance crew in a large company. Our boss retired and a new young man replaced him and it's impossible to deal with him. Every time I do something he comes over and tells me to do it another way. I've been here ten years; he's been here two months. I tell him he's wrong. He gets mad and tells me he's the boss. I get angry and I don't know what to do. I can't quit because I have a large family. How do I hold on?

Ans. Remember he IS the boss so it's up to you to manage this situation. First step is to agree when he yells because agreeing will dispel his anger. Then you are ready to begin talking. You then will have an opportunity to explain your reasons for doing it your way, but make sure you know the difference between "assertion" and "aggression".  You cannot step forward, and shout at him and tell him he is wrong. That is aggression. Stay back, keep your voice steady and low, and repeat the same correct sentence over and over, such as, "I'm sorry, but the big screw goes here, the smaller one goes below." When he responds with argument again, hold your line. Say, "I'm sorry sir, you are the boss, but the big screw goes here and the smaller one goes below."  If he insists you change it, do so, saying quietly, "I'm doing it the way you want me to." That makes it clear it is HIS responsibility when the machine explodes.

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