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BRAGGING BOSS ISN'T LIKELY TO STOP SHOWING OFF.

Byline: Ken Lloyd On the job

Q The owner of our company always finds an opportunity to brag about his money, his cars, his trips, his houses and his possessions, and we are all tired of listening to this. We work hard and are rewarded well, but his tendency to fill us in on the details of his newest acquisitions is getting hard to take. What can you say to this? M.F.

A Although you would probably like to say something like, ``Enough,'' there is never enough for this person. The reality is that no matter what you say to him, he is not likely to change. What you are seeing is a reflection of his personality, and his tendency to count his money in public is one of his enduring, if not endearing, traits. There are probably parallels to this type of bragging behavior in other aspects of his work, and they may even help the business succeed.

Depending on your relationship with him, you or one of your associates can act as a spokesman for the team and have a private heart-to-heart discussion with him. However, no matter how gently you package your comments, you are likely to meet with defensiveness, disbelief, or even arrogance. For example, he may indicate that if more of you were like him, the company would be doing even better. He may feel that the company needs more braggers, not less.

In a word, his personality is one of the realities of working for him. He probably has many strengths as well, but the real question is whether you have the strength to listen to his constant bragging.

Q: The vice president of our company hovers over the fax machine. He is a ``control freak'' who has to see everything coming over through the fax. One fax that was clearly addressed to me was given to another employee. He claimed he didn't see my name on it, but after a 45-minute discussion, he finally admitted to seeing my name but didn't forward it to me. Why did he lie to me? I don't understand this behavior. O.D.

A If this vice president is lying to become a card-carrying control freak, he is going to have to do more than park at the fax machine misdirecting incoming messages, and then denying and ultimately admitting what he did. Rather than trying to obtain any further admissions from him, it will make more sense for you to get a commitment from him that he will no longer interfere with faxes that are addressed to you.

In terms of the bigger picture, why in the world should you need that kind of a commitment from a vice president in the first place? Surely there must be someone above this individual who believes that there are better things for this vice president to do with his time than play fax collector.

Q I just completed the evaluation of one of our employees who reports to me, and I had asked her to complete the same form prior to our getting together. The interesting thing is that she rated herself lower than I rated her in many categories. I am wondering if this points to a lack of confidence on her part. What do you think? S.C.

A Your employee's rigorous rating of herself can be a reflection of any number of factors, including honesty, high standards, humility, or even confusion over the rating scale. The difference between your rating and hers provides the basis for a very productive discussion regarding objectives, performance criteria, priorities, deadlines and mutual expectations.

There is very little that you can conclude from your employee's self-ratings without this type of discussion. However, it is interesting to note that studies have found that high achieving individuals tend to look back at their performance and focus more on the areas in which they could have done better, as opposed to focusing on their many accomplishments. This employee may be signaling a high need for achievement, and this can be important motivational information.

In addition, her lower self-ratings may indicate that she needs more feedback regarding her performance. She may be picAking up less than stellar cues from you, and, as a result, she is feeling less positive about her work. In this regard, it is interesting to note that your employee's evaluation of herself can be a valuable source of feedback for you.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 22, 1999
Words:740
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