being the boss

what to tell my employee about another employee who’s underperforming

A reader writes: I manage a junior employee, “Arthur,” who has become friends with another employee at his level, “Ford.” Ford works on a different client team with a different manager (“Zaphod”). Ford has been significantly underperforming. It’s been clear for a little while that he isn’t well-suited for this position. Ford’s manager, Zaphod, has […]

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how to get shorter answers from a rambling employee

A reader writes: I have an employee who is extremely detailed in every way. This can be great in some cases, but whenever she speaks (in a meeting or just one-on-one) she is extremely long-winded. She will generally say the same thing in three different ways, and then summarize again. Her emails and written projects […]

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I have to manage the office jerk

A reader writes: I’ve been at my company for over five years and have been in several different positions, but am just taking on my first supervisory responsibilities. The trouble is that one of my direct reports, Tim, is someone I do not get along with (and that’s an understatement). We used to work in […]

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one way to give your staff more feedback

If you’re like most managers, you probably don’t give your team members enough feedback. Or you give plenty of praise but shy away from talking giving corrections or criticism … or, on the other end of the spectrum, you give far more criticism than praise. If any of these describe you, you could stand to […]

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should I invite my lonely intern over for dinner?

A reader writes: I am a female in my mid-30s who is fairly new to managing. I am currently supervising an intern, “Fergus,” who is a grad student in his mid-20s. His home city is an eight-hour drive away (or a one-hour flight away), which makes it a bit impractical for him to travel home […]

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I yelled at our intern

A reader writes: One of our interns, who I supervise directly, has been performing pretty poorly for a while. I’ve met with him and been giving him feedback, but it hasn’t worked. This afternoon we were scheduled to meet again, where I was planning to draw a harder line. Then he sent me a really […]

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how to solve a conflict between two strong-willed employees

A reader writes: What do you do when you have two very strong-headed and opinionated employees working closely together, one a team leader and the other a newer employee, who have a personality conflict? The team leader has been with the company for five years and feels as if the newer employee talks to her […]

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be a better manager in 2017

Most of us who manage have a hell of a lot of room to do it better. At QuickBase’s Fast Track blog today, I talk about four specific things you should do differently this year to make yourself a stronger boss. You can read it here.

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