being the boss

my employee is overwhelmingly emotionally needy

A reader writes: I am a department head for a medium-sized nonprofit. I have eight direct reports and I report directly to the CEO. I am at my wit’s end with one of my reports who needs constant validation to the point of obsession and disruption of my own ability to work and direct my […]

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did I make a mistake by reprimanding my direct report’s employee?

A reader writes: I’m in a senior management position at my workplace and I supervise a handful of managers. One of these managers (Sarah) is currently dealing with a challenging employee (Ava). Ava has started having lengthy, loud personal conversations in the open office area, which is a problem. Sarah has addressed this with Ava […]

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how to recover after yelling at an employee

A reader writes: One of my employees has been performing pretty poorly for a while. I’ve met with him and given 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 rude, sarcastic, inappropriate email this […]

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my new hire is too attractive for me to manage her

A reader writes: I feel like a bad manager for even asking this question, but I find one of the new hires assigned to me to be amazingly attractive. I would never act on it, or do or say anything unprofessional, but I find it unbelievably distracting. When I look at the coaching and 1:1 […]

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my employee is paranoid — can I help or is it not my business?

A reader writes: I lead a small team of four: two assistants who I supervise, and one colleague at my level but who doesn’t have supervisory duties. Because we’re a small team that likes one another, our meetings usually end with personal chatter—nothing boundary-crossing, just normal friendly updates. One assistant, Georgia, has a bit of […]

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how can I protect my team from last-minute rushes?

A reader writes: I’m a new manager who heads up a team of 12 employees, and I’m having an issue with the other groups that we work with. The other groups have developed a habit of not including my team on work to be performed, then dropping it on us and demanding it be done […]

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have I destroyed boundaries with my team during Covid?

A reader writes: I’ve been a manager for four years, all at the same location and mostly with the same reports (three people). I’m a pretty private person and didn’t love a previous job that tried to force out-of-work friendships on staff. As a manager I’ve always been a friendly-but-not-friends type, they’re lovely people and […]

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