being the boss

All your questions about being the boss, answered — like dealing with low performers, lateness, weird feedback, and more.

why don’t we do a better job of training managers?

Why don’t we do a better job of training managers? How effectively a team is managed has a huge impact on what results it achieves … so it’s bizarre that we routinely throw people into management roles without any training whatsoever or with training that’s woefully insufficient. At Slate today, I wrote about why it’s […]

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my team keeps complaining about someone I don’t manage

A reader writes: I direct a department that’s on a different floor than the rest of our office. A portion of my team’s workflow has to go through an administrative person in another department, Jane, who reports to another department director. Jane is new — she started six months ago — and she seems overwhelmed. […]

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my employee demands to know where I am at all times

A reader writes: I started a new management role three months ago and am managing a small team. One of my staff was under-performing when I started, and one of my directives was to get them on a coaching plan, which I have. As a result, they have made complaints that I’m out to get […]

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my employee says she has “pregnancy brain”

A reader writes: My lead administrative assistant, who is normally fantastic, is pregnant. In the past few weeks, she has made some very significant errors, two of which in particular have ended up causing a good bit of drama, increasing workload for others in my department, and also costing our organization a not-insignificant chunk of […]

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I saw a private text about my intern having sex on her desk

A reader writes: I have a question about something that happened to me earlier in my career and what I should have done. I worked in a very small office: the executive director, myself, and an intern (who I managed). Often people would be in the office alone if others were out at meetings or […]

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how to tell my employee I made a mistake with a client

A reader writes: My employee, Joe, met with a client, Alice, who had previously met with me before Joe started in his role). I know that my meeting with Alice went poorly — she was making unreasonable requests and displayed a level of inflexibility that I knew would not get her where she needed, but […]

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