being the boss

how can I be a good manager to an employee who barely speaks to me?

A reader writes: I manage two wonderful employees who share an office next to mine. One of my employees (we’ll call him Neelix) is very outgoing and friendly. We have some similar views on life (politics, child-rearing, etc) and talk easily and often. My other employee (we’ll call her B’Elanna) is wonderful at her job […]

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how can I get my freelancers to turn in their work on time?

A reader writes: I manage 15-20 part-time, remote freelancers, and my role is also part-time freelance. Let’s say our end-client sells access to a recipe database; my job is to find great recipe writers, teach them how to develop recipes according to our house standards, and then get them creating recipes for us on a […]

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my assistant quit because of St. Patrick’s Day pinching

This letter was originally part of a five-short-answers column, but it’s getting enough interest that I’m making it its own post. The other four letters that were originally bundled with it are now here. A reader writes: This past Friday, the office I work at got into the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day. We were […]

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telling a difficult, pushy employee that she’s right … without undermining your own authority

A reader writes: I recently took a job at a small strategy/data consulting firm, supervising several managers, each with their own team of analysts. I’ve managed before, but never managed people who themselves were managers, and I’m finding that there are definitely some wrinkles I hadn’t expected! One of the managers I supervise is named […]

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how can I help an employee who suffers from anxiety?

A reader writes: How can I help an employee who is suffering from anxiety? The employee in question is a very hardworking, very conscientious employee but she suffers from excessive worry and anxiety. This isn’t my diagnosis — she told me she’s taking advantage of our employee assistance program and getting help with it. However, […]

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