May 2012

how to deal with a defensive coworker (or anyone, really)

It’s hard to work with defensive coworkers — or worse, defensive bosses. Because they argue, don’t hear what you’re saying, and sometimes even lash out, people tend to start avoiding giving them useful feedback … which sucks for both sides, because problems go unaddressed and people feel like they can’t get their voices heard. But over […]

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manager won’t tell us when she’ll be out on vacation

A reader writes: Our manager refuses to tell us when she is scheduled to be out of the office. She travels for business and has taken several vacations since I started in September; however, she has never notified us of her absence in advance. Sometimes she’s available via IM and sometimes she’s not, so we don’t […]

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romantically rejected coworker causing problems at work

A reader writes: My workplace is extremely dysfunctional. In some ways, we are very much like a family (which can be nice), but the downside of this security (it’s just about impossible to get fired…just like your family) is that there’s no real consequences for bad behavior. Here’s my dilemma: I used to be friends […]

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10 salary negotiating mistakes you need to avoid

If you’re like most people, the thought of negotiating, or even talking about, salary with a new employer gives you the vapors. What if you lowball yourself? What if you price yourself out of the job? It’s stressful. Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about 10 key salary negotiating mistakes that […]

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terse answer Tuesday: 7 short answers to 7 short questions

It’s terse answer Tuesday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go… 1. Can my company prohibit me from being a reference for a former coworker? My ex-coworker came in to the office today to ask if i would be his reference for a new job he applied for. My manager was […]

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dealing with unreasonable deadlines

This post was originally published on September 7, 2007. A reader writes: I work in a very small office, doing a series of specific technical projects, reporting to a very young, recent-graduate manager who doesn’t have any experience in my area. I am regularly asked to complete projects in in ridiculous time frames. For instance, […]

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and I’m not even that nice

This post was originally published on June 19, 2007.  Apparently I am engaging in some sort of deviant workplace behavior. I like to email short notes to people when they strike me as particularly awesome — and cc their boss. I never do it unless it’s sincere, but it’s not hard to find opportunities; we […]

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how to fire an employee

This post was originally published on September 3, 2007. I’m reprinting it now because I’m taking a few days off. You’ll see a few new posts during this period, but I’ll also be using a few from the long distant past. Firing poor performers is one of the hardest things managers do — and also […]

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