being the boss

what to do when an employee is reluctant to take on a new project

A reader writes: The person who took minutes at our board meetings has moved on, and I’m leaving her position vacant for budget reasons. I want our bookkeeper to take this duty on, because she has already shown she’s trustworthy with sensitive information, and I feel she’s the best person on our staff for this. […]

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8 signs you’re a bad boss

No manager sets out to be the sort of boss who demoralizes their staff or makes people dread coming to work. And yet, given the number of people who report working for terrible managers, clearly there are loads of bad bosses out there. Most bad bosses aren’t bad people. Rather, managing is a skill like […]

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how can managers get “alone time”?

A reader writes: I work for a busy law office that manages hundreds of files for large corporations daily. The work is very detail oriented, and even the slightest issues can set us back tremendously. I supervise a group of 5 other people, all of whom have been with the firm for less than 9 […]

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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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