20 August, 2010

Personal SWOT Analysis

Making the Most of Your Talents and Opportunities.

"Chance favors the prepared mind." – Louis Pasteur

You are most likely to succeed in life if you use your talents to their fullest extent. Similarly, you'll suffer fewer problems if you know what your weaknesses are, and if you manage these weaknesses so that they don't matter in the work you do.

So how you go about identifying these strengths and weaknesses, and analyzing the opportunities and threats that flow from them? SWOT Analysis is a useful technique that helps you do this.

What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you would not otherwise have spotted. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that might otherwise hurt your ability to move forward.

If you look at yourself using the SWOT framework, you can start to separate yourself from your peers, and further develop the specialized talents and abilities you need to advance your career.

How to Use the Tool

To perform a personal SWOT analysis, print out our free worksheet, and write down answers to the questions in each area below.

  • Strengths
    • What advantages do you have that others don't have (for example, skills, certifications, education, or connections)?
    • What do you do better than anyone else?
    • What personal resources can you access?
    • What do other people (and your boss, in particular) see as your strengths?
    • Which of your achievements are you most proud of?
    • What values do you believe in that others fail to exhibit?
    • Are you part of a network that no one else is involved in? If so, what connections do you have with influential people?

Consider this from your own perspective, and from the point of view of the people around you. And don't be modest or shy – be as objective as you can.

And if you have any difficulty with this, write down a list of your personal characteristics. Some of these will hopefully be strengths!


    • What tasks do you usually avoid because you don't feel confident doing them?
    • What will the people around you see as your weaknesses?
    • Are you completely confident in your education and skills training? If not, where are you weakest?
    • What are your negative work habits (for example, are you often late, are you disorganized, do you have a short temper, or are you poor at handling stress?
    • Do you have personality traits that hold you back in your field? For instance, if you have to conduct meetings on a regular basis, a fear of public speaking would be a major weakness.

Again, consider this from a personal/internal perspective and an external perspective. Do other people see weaknesses that you don't see? Do co-workers consistently outperform you in key areas? Be realistic – it's best to face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible.

  • Opportunities
    • What new technology can help you? Or can you get help from others or from people via the Internet?
    • Is your industry growing? If so, how can you take advantage of the current market?
    • Do you have a network of strategic contacts to help you, or offer good advice?
    • What trends (management or otherwise) do you see in your company, and how can you take advantage of them?
    • Are any of your competitors failing to do something important? If so, can you take advantage of their mistakes?
    • Is there a need in your company or industry that no one is filling?
    • Do your customers or vendors complain about something in your company? If so, could you create an opportunity by offering a solution?

You might find useful opportunities in the following:

    • Networking events, educational classes, or conferences.
    • A colleague going on an extended leave. Could you take on some of this person's projects to gain experience?
    • A new role or project that forces you to learn new skills, like public speaking or international relations.
    • A company expansion or acquisition. Do you have specific skills (like a second language) that could help with the process?

Also, importantly, look at your strengths, and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities – and look at your weaknesses, and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating those weaknesses.

  • Threats
    • What obstacles do you currently face at work?
    • Are any of your colleagues competing with you for projects or roles?
    • Is your job (or the demand for the things you do) changing?
    • Does changing technology threaten your position?
    • Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?

Performing this analysis will often provide key information – it can point out what needs to be done and put problems into perspective.

A Personal SWOT Example

What would a personal SWOT assessment look like? Review this SWOT analysis for Aryan, an advertising manager.

  • Strengths
    • I'm very creative. I often impressing clients with a new perspective on their brands.
    • I communicate well with my clients and team.
    • I have the ability to ask key questions to find just the right marketing angle.
    • I'm completely committed to the success of a client's brand.
  • Weaknesses
    • I have a strong, compulsive need to do things quickly and remove them from my "to do" list, and sometimes the quality of my work suffers as a result.
    • This same need to get things done also causes me stress when I have too many tasks.
    • I get nervous when presenting ideas to clients and this fear of public speaking often takes the passion out of my presentations.
  • Opportunities
    • One of our major competitors has developed a reputation for treating their smaller clients poorly.
    • I'm attending a major marketing conference next month. This will allow for strategic networking, and also offer some great training seminars.
    • Our art director will go on maternity leave soon. Covering her duties while she's away would be a great career development opportunity for me.
  • Threats
    • Dravid, one of my colleagues, is a much stronger speaker than I am, and he's competing with me for the art director position.
    • Due to recent staff shortages, I'm often overworked, and this negatively impacts my creativity.
    • The current economic climate has resulted in slow growth for the marketing industry. Many firms have laid off staff members, and our company is considering further cutbacks.

As a result of performing this analysis, Aryan takes the bold step of approaching his colleague Dravid about the art director's maternity leave. Aryan proposes that both he and Dravid cover the job's duties, working together and each using his or her strengths. To his surprise, Dravid likes the idea. He knows he presents very well, but he admits that he's usually impressed by Aryan's creative ideas, which he feels are far better than most of his.

By working as a team, they have a chance to make their smaller clients feel even better about the service they're getting. This takes advantage of their competitor's weakness in this area.

Key Points

A SWOT matrix is a framework for analyzing your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that you face. This helps you focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For Your Success & Glory!

Moving From Technical Expert to Manager

Learning Management Skills

So, you finally earned the promotion you dreamed about. Because of your technical expertise and your ability to reach performance goals consistently, your organization made you a manager.

You're thrilled with the idea of advancing your career ... until reality hits you. After a few weeks, you start to realize that you're spending very little time doing what you used to do best - that is, using your technical skills. Instead, you're spending a lot of your time dealing with "people problems," navigating office politics, and coordinating projects and team members.

You knew things would be different, but it's exhausting compared with your previous role. Have you made a mistake in accepting the promotion? What can you do to improve your new situation?

Any management promotion can be a challenge, but it's especially hard on people with strong technical skills, but who have little or no management experience. In this article, we'll explore how to make the transition, and what you can do to excel in your new role. We'll also include links to several other resources that can help you strengthen the skills you need for success.

Management Challenges

Technical experts are often promoted because they have recognized knowledge and skills in their field. Whether it's IT, finance, sales, or marketing, they know their jobs very well. After all, that's what got them noticed!

The problem is that organizations often promote people based on these technical skills, not on their management skills. And many organizations offer very little support to new managers. This is why it's up to you to teach yourself the skills you need!

You first need to recognize that your technical knowledge may not help much in your new management role. Why? Because instead of just focusing on your own skills and successes, you now have to focus on the skills and successes of your team. Your mindset has to change.

This is where many technical managers make their biggest mistakes. Instead of paying attention to the "people aspect" of their new role, they continue to do what they've always done: work on their own projects and technical skills. But if you ignore your team and their needs, you're going to alienate them quickly.

Another challenge is that your identity in the organization changes. You may have been a superstar in your previous role, but now you're starting at the beginning again. It can be difficult for new managers to cope with this "identity demotion."

To fight this, focus on gaining some early wins - small victories that you can achieve quickly - in your new position. This will give you, and your new team, a great sense of accomplishment, as well as the motivation to keep moving forward

Skills You Need

The good news is that you can succeed - and succeed spectacularly - in your management role. To do so, however, you must learn a new set of skills, including:

Delegation - As a manager, you must know how to delegate tasks to your team effectively. This will keep you from spending time doing things that should no longer be your responsibility.

Briefing - You need to keep your team up to date on their progress, what you expect from them, and what will happen in the future.

Motivation - Your team is now your responsibility. This means that you must keep them motivated and moving forward.
Communication - In your previous role, good communication might have been helpful, but not vital. But now, as a manager, the ability to communicate well is essential to your success.

Discipline - At some point, you'll probably have to discipline someone on your team. Whether a team member is breaking rules, under-performing, or upsetting others, it's up to you to restore peace. Knowing how to discipline effectively and diplomatically is key to keeping your team's trust and respect.

Recruitment - If your team is changing or expanding, then you'll have to hire new people, but finding the right people can be difficult.

Tips for Making the Transition to Manager

Do a personal SWOT analysis - Make a list of what you must improve to be a better manager for your team. Many managers let others assess their skills, and then wait until their performance review to discover what skills they lack. Don't make this mistake – spend time now identifying your weaknesses, so that you can start improving on them immediately.

Stay away from technical work - Resist the temptation to get involved with technical projects that aren't your responsibility. Yes, you probably enjoy this type of work and want to feel successful doing something you know well, but this is now your team's responsibility. Spending too much time doing technical work will only hold you back as a manager. Sure, it's good to pitch in when you can, but make sure that you do the managing part of your role first.

Find a mentor - Look for someone in your organization who has made a transition similar to yours. A mentor can offer you some great advice on succeeding in your new role, and help you avoid some of the mistakes that he or she has made.

Meet with every team member - Make it a priority to meet with everyone on your team personally. Find out what interests and motivates them, and check that they have everything they need to be happy and successful in their role. This shows that you're taking an interest in them, and it helps you get to know the people you're managing.

Find out what your team expects from you - These expectations are often unspoken. Learn to discover these hidden expectations.

Learn one skill at a time - Acquiring a whole new set of skills for your new management position can be overwhelming. Don't try to learn everything at once. Focus on one skill at a time, so that you can learn each skill well.

Key Points

Making the transition from technical expert to manager can be challenging, especially if you have little or no management experience.

Look at the key skills you need to be an effective manager, and focus on learning one new skill at a time. Do a personal SWOT analysis, and try to find a mentor who has experienced the same transition. Also, don't do tasks associated with your previous role - your job now is to manage your team.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For Your Success & Glory!

18 August, 2010

Learning Disabilities in a Nutshell

What Are Learning Disabilities?

For someone diagnosed with a learning disability, it can seem scary at first. But a learning disability doesn't have anything to do with a person's intelligence - after all, such successful people as Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, and Winston Churchill all had learning disabilities.

Learning disabilities are problems that affect the brain's ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information. These problems can make it difficult for a student to learn as quickly as someone who isn't affected by learning disabilities. There are many kinds of learning disabilities. Most students affected by learning disabilities have more than one kind. Certain kinds of learning disabilities can interfere with a person's ability to concentrate or focus and can cause someone's mind to wander too much. Other learning disabilities can make it difficult for a student to read, write, spell, or solve math problems.

The way our brains process information is extremely complex - it's no wonder things can get messed up sometimes. Take the simple act of looking at a picture, for example: Our brains not only have to form the lines into an image, they also have to recognize what the image stands for, relate that image to other facts stored in our memories, and then store this new information. It's the same thing with speech - we have to recognize the words, interpret the meaning, and figure out the significance of the statement to us. Many of these activities take place in separate parts of the brain, and it's up to our minds to link them all together.

There are nearly four million school-age children and teens have learning disabilities, and at least 20% of them have a type of disorder that makes it difficult to focus.

What Are the Signs of Learning Disabilities?

You can't tell by looking that a person has a learning disability, which can make learning disabilities hard to diagnose. Learning disabilities typically first show up when a person has difficulty speaking, reading, writing, figuring out a math problem, communicating with a parent, or paying attention in class. Some kids' learning disabilities are diagnosed in grade school when a parent or a teacher notices a kid can't follow directions for a game or is struggling to do work he or she should be able to do easily. But other kids develop sophisticated ways of covering up their learning issues, so learning disabilities don't show up until the teen years when schoolwork - and life - gets more complicated.

Most learning disabilities fall into one of two categories: verbal and nonverbal.

People with verbal learning disabilities have difficulty with words, both spoken and written. The most common and best-known verbal learning disability is dyslexia, which causes people to have trouble recognizing or processing letters and the sounds associated with them. For this reason, people with dyslexia have trouble with reading and writing tasks or assignments.

Some people with verbal learning disabilities may be able to read or write just fine but they have trouble with other aspects of language. For example, they may be able to sound out a sentence or paragraph perfectly, making them good readers, but they can't relate to the words in ways that will allow them to make sense of what they're reading (such as forming a picture of a thing or situation). And some people have trouble with the act of writing as their brains struggle to control the many things that go into it - from moving their hand to form letter shapes to remembering the correct grammar rules involved in writing down a sentence.

People with nonverbal learning disabilities may have difficulty processing what they see. They may have trouble making sense of visual details like numbers on a blackboard. Someone with a nonverbal learning disability may confuse the plus sign with the sign for division, for example. Some abstract concepts like fractions may be difficult to master for people with nonverbal learning disabilities.

A behavioral condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often associated with learning disabilities because people with ADHD may also have a hard time focusing enough to learn and study. Students with ADHD are often easily distracted and have trouble concentrating. They may also be excessively active or have trouble controlling their impulses.

What Causes Them?

No one's exactly sure what causes learning disabilities. But researchers do have some theories as to why they develop. They include:

  • Genetic influences. Experts have noticed that learning disabilities tend to run in families and they think that heredity may play a role. However, researchers are still debating whether learning disabilities are, in fact, genetic, or if they show up in families because kids learn and model what their parents do.
  • Brain development. Some experts think that learning disabilities can be traced to brain development, both before and after birth. For this reason, problems such as low birth weight, lack of oxygen, or premature birth may have something to do with learning disabilities. Young children who receive head injuries may also be at risk of developing learning disabilities.
  • Environmental impacts. Infants and young children are susceptible to environmental toxins (poisons). For example, you may have heard how lead (which may be found in some old homes in the form of lead paint or lead water pipes) is sometimes thought to contribute to learning disabilities. Poor nutrition early in life may also lead to learning disabilities later in life.

How Do You Know If You Have a Learning Disability?

Just because you have trouble studying for a test doesn't mean you have a learning disability. There are as many learning styles as there are individuals. For example, some people learn by doing and practicing, others learn by listening (such as in class), and others prefer to read material. Some people are just naturally slower readers or learners than others, but they still perform well for their age and abilities. Sometimes, what seems to be a learning disability is simply a delay in development; the person will eventually catch up with - and perhaps even surpass - his or her peers.

But many people with learning disabilities struggle for a long time before someone realizes that there's a reason they're having so much trouble learning. For most people in their teen years, the first telltale sign of most learning disabilities occurs when they notice that there's a disconnect between how much they studied for a test and how well they performed. Or it may just be a feeling a person has that something isn't right. If you're worried, don't hesitate to share your thoughts with a parent or a teacher.

The first step in diagnosing a learning disability is ruling out vision or hearing problems. A person may then work with a psychologist or learning specialist who will use specific tests to help diagnose the disability. Often, these can help pinpoint that person's learning strengths and weaknesses in addition to revealing a particular learning disability.

Coping With a Learning Disability

Although a diagnosis of a learning disability can feel upsetting, it's actually the first step in resolving the condition. Once an expert has pinpointed a person's particular problem, he or she can then follow strategies or take medicines to help cope with the disability. And taking steps to manage the disability can often help restore a student's self-esteem and confidence.

Some students who have been diagnosed with a learning disability work with a special teacher or tutor for a few hours a week to learn special study skills, note-taking strategies, or organizational techniques that can help them compensate for their learning disability. If you've been diagnosed with a learning disability, you may need support just for the subjects that give you the most trouble. Your school may have a special classroom with a teacher who is trained to help students overcome learning problems.

Some schools develop what is called an Individualized Education Program (or IEP), which helps define a person's learning strengths and weaknesses and make a plan for the learning activities that will help the student do his or her best in school. A student's IEP might include some regular time with a tutor or in a specialized classroom for a certain subject, or the use of some special equipment to help with learning, such as books on tape or laptop computers for students who have dyslexia.

Medication is often prescribed to help students with ADHD. There are several medicines on the market today to help improve a student's attention span and ability to focus and to help control impulses and other hyperactive behavior.

There's no cure for a learning disability. And you don't outgrow it. But it's never too late to get help. Most people with learning disabilities learn to adapt to their learning differences, and they learn strategies that help them accomplish their goals and dreams.

Read, Learn and Flourish!

For Your Success And Glory!

Emotional Intelligence And Teaching

Are you one of those teachers that can achieve a good rapport with your students? Do your colleagues envy you because you always get the best out of your students? Are you the teacher everyone calls for when there is a situation that needs to be dealt with? Do the students listen when you talk? Do they give you respect?

Well if so, you probably have very good interpersonal skills and that means a high level of emotional intelligence.

What about you as a person? Do you allow yourself to be negative a lot of the time or do you work hard at focusing on the positive? Do you get yourself all stressed up when things are not going your way or do you take some personal time to reflect that this is just another problem that has to be dealt with? Do you focus on the problem or do you focus on the solution? Do you have the ability to be calm when all around people are losing it?

Again, being positive within yourself means you have a high level of emotional intelligence.

How you deal with things in life is important? Deal with them negatively and you take yourself on a little journey of pain and suffering every time. Deal with them positively and not only do you feel good but suddenly everyone's beating a path to your door for some enlightenment.

As a teacher you need to achieve rapport, you need to be empathic; you need to be in control of your emotions. Why? Because then you can teach your students to be exactly the same.

Don't forget that there are many adults in this world whose greatest role model was their teacher.

In the book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman writes about two types of EI communication, intra-personal and inter-personal. Firstly, commuicating with yourself (intra-personal). This is how you communicate with yourself. Are you a negative or positive person? Are your thoughts about yourself self-defeating or do you push yourself forward or build yourself up? Your self-talk or communication will have evolved through the thousands of experiences in your life. You will probably walk and talk your life to date literally.

Secondly, communicating with others (inter-personal) where you have the ability to bond with and identify emotions in other people, in their attitudes, behaviours, designs, artwork, through their language. The ability to achieve great relationships.

As a teacher you should find the following true story on behaviour interesting. It is about rage and aggression. Subjects that many of you should have a chest of medals for.

In fact if some of you were to rewrite your job description it would read something like - counsellor, psychologist, behaviour specialist, parent, friend, motivational coach, role model, mentor and teacher.

Many of you will have had many years experience of dealing with rage and aggression and this story will resonate with you. For others I hope you will find something here that will help you to achieve a greater rapport and empathy with the young people you work with. Although it is not in a teaching environment we can still learn from it.

My thanks to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence for giving us this wonderful piece of writing.

Emotional Brilliance `The Drunk’
If the test of social skill is the ability to calm distressing emotions in others, then handling someone at the peak of rage is perhaps the ultimate measure of mastery.

The data on self-regulation of anger and emotional contagion suggest that one effective strategy might be to distract the angry person, empathise with his feelings and perspective, and then draw him into an alternative focus, one that attunes him with a more positive range of feeling, a kind of emotional judo.

Such refined skill in the fine art of emotional influence is perhaps best exemplified by a story told by an old friend, the late Terry Dobson, who in the 1950s was one of the first Americans ever to study the martial art Aikido in Japan.

One afternoon he was riding home on a suburban Tokyo train when a huge, bellicose, very drunk and begrimed labourer got on. The man, staggering, began terrorising the passengers, screaming curses, he took a swing at a woman holding a baby, sending her sprawling in the laps of an elderly couple, who then jumped up and joined a stampede to the other end of the car.

The drunk, taking a few other swings (and, in his rage, missing), grabbed the metal pole in the middle of the car with a roar and tried to tear it out of its socket. At that point Terry, who was in peak physical condition from daily eight hour Aikido workouts, felt called upon to intervene, lest someone get seriously hurt.

But he recalled the words of his teacher: "Aikido is the art of reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection with the universe. If you try to dominate people you are already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it." Indeed, Terry had agreed upon beginning lessons with his teacher never to pick a fight, and to use his martial-arts skills only in defence.

Now, at last, he saw his chance to test his Aikido abilities in real life, in what was clearly a legitimate opportunity. So, as all the other passengers sat frozen in their seats, Terry stood up, slowly and with deliberation.

Seeing him, the drunk roared, "Aha! A foreigner! You need a lesson in Japanese manners!" and began gathering himself to take on Terry. But just as the drunk was on the verge of making his move, someone gave an ear-splitting, oddly joyous shout: "Hey!" The shout had the cheery tone of someone who has suddenly come upon a fond friend.

The drunk, surprised, spun around to see a tiny Japanese man, probably in his seventies, sitting there in a kimono. The old man beamed with delight at the drunk, and beckoned him over with a light wave of his hand and a lilting "C'mere." The drunk strode over with a belligerent, "Why the hell should I talk to you?"

Meanwhile, Terry was ready to fell the drunk in a moment if he made the least violent move. "What'cha been drinking?" the old man asked, his eyes beaming at the drunken labourer. "I been drinking sake, and it's none of your business," the drunk bellowed. "Oh, that's wonderful, absolutely wonderful," the old man replied in a warm tone. "You see, I love sake, too. Every night, me and my wife (she's seventy-six, you know), we warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out into the garden, and we sit on an old wooden bench . . ." He continued on about the persimmon tree in his backyard, the fortunes of his garden, enjoying sake in the evening.

The drunk's face began to soften as he listened to the old man; his fists unclenched. "Yeah ... I love persimmons, too .. . ," he said, his voice trailing off. "Yes," the old man replied in a sprightly voice, "and I'm sure you have a wonderful wife." "No," said the labourer. "My wife died...." Sobbing, he launched into a sad tale of losing his wife, his home, his job, of being ashamed of himself.
Just then the train came to Terry's stop, and as he was getting off he turned to hear the old man invite the drunk to join him and tell him all about it, and to see the drunk sprawl along the seat, his head in the old man's lap.

Read, Learn and Flourish!

For Your Success and Glory!

07 August, 2010

Dealing With a Bad Boss

By Shefali Anand
Do you hate your boss? Like really, REALLY hate him?
Everyone dislikes their boss at some point. But if it’s a perpetual state of affairs, that’s a serious problem. It could make your working day hell and potentially affect your overall job performance.

Studies have shown that discord between an employee and manager is one of the major reasons why people leave jobs. But running away from your job should only be a last resort since you could easily find another bad boss at your next job.

Bad bosses come in many flavors, and here are some ways in which you can deal with them. Warning: Many involve a degree of self-control and discipline that you probably won’t feel if you detest your supervisor but are worth giving a shot.

1. Is it just you or everyone else too?
“It’s very easy to misunderstand the boss,” says Ramesh Vaswani, executive vice chairman of computer accessory-maker Intex Technologies (India) Ltd. Mr. Vaswani says employees should appreciate that there is a reason why the person is your boss. So instead of taking the boss’s antagonistic attitude personally, try to understand the reason for the bad behavior. If necessary, do your own rigorous self-assessment.

Are you not doing your work up to the required standards? Change that. Does your personality not match with your boss’s? Overcome your personal feelings and focus on your professional relationship with the boss.

However, if the boss is perceived as bad for your peers as well–it really isn’t you, it’s him!–try some of the steps mentioned below.

2. Try on the boss’s shoes.
A bad manager is not necessarily a bad person. Often, the problem is that managers don’t have any training or skills to manage people. Or they may be insecure, or they might just be under pressure from their bosses to deliver tough targets.

Understanding your boss’s perspective can enable you to figure out steps to tackle the situation. For instance, do what it takes to help the boss achieve his or her goals; you will be appreciated more. “That empathy towards trying to understand your manager…has helped people,” says Sanjay Pandit, managing director of recruiting firm Manpower Services India. This is especially the case for employees in functions like sales and marketing and finance, adds Mr. Pandit.

3. Is your boss inefficient?
If your boss is not doing his job well, and is not interested in improving either, that could reflect badly on your team’s results and on you. Try taking some more responsibility, even if means doing tasks that don’t fall strictly under your job profile. If your work can help raise your team’s delivery rate, you’ll benefit ultimately. Think of this as an opportunity to get more experience than you normally could if you were working under a boss who micro-manages. When possible, you could informally bring up your achievements before other superiors or human-resource managers.

4. You do the work, boss takes the credit.
One way to get around this is to try to become more visible to higher-ups in the organization. Stand up and be seen in “team meetings, where the boss’s boss is also attending or people from other functions are also attending,” says Mr. Pandit.

You could also keep a detailed log of your accomplishments, major tasks or projects completed and how that compares with many of your peers. This could come in handy at performance review time to show either to your boss who won’t acknowledge your achievements or someone higher up in case you need to defend your performance.

Silent performers could end up suffering in this case, says Mr. Pandit.

5. Working for a bully.
Does your boss yell, curse, or humiliate you in front of your peers?

If it’s a one-off case, then forget about it. But if it happens often, experts advise taking up the matter with the boss’s supervisors or the company’s human resources team. “This is…non-acceptable behavior,” says Rajendra Ghag, executive vice president of human resources and administration at HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd. A company with the right culture will take action against the manager immediately.

Whatever you do, do not yell back or get into a shouting match with your boss. It will not help resolve anything. Remember, your behavior is being seen by your peers and others in the organization, and you don’t want to come across as too aggressive or vengeful. If you need to vent, take it outside, or home, or anywhere but your boss’s office.

6. Speak up, politely.
Experts say that often managers don’t even realize that they are perceived as bad managers. “There are many blind spots all of us have,” says Ms. Ghag.

Consider communicating your problem to your manager, professionally and with a positive spin. For instance, if you are upset that you don’t get enough feedback or are under-appreciated, approach the boss and say: “I loved doing this project but it would really help me if you could suggest ways that I can improve and do this better.” Or, if you are given too short a time to complete a project, say that you could do a better job if you had more time to do other things like X and Y. The key is to make your point without hostility.

7. Use your company’s feedback system.
You can also try communicating with the boss indirectly through the company’s feedback system. That could include everything from boxes where you can write anonymous letters to a “360 degree feedback” system in which a manager is rated based on comments from various people, including his peers and subordinates. Or, you can go directly to the human-resource managers with your specific grievances.

“Every company will have some avenue” for feedback, says Vikram Bhalla, partner and director at the Boston Consulting Group. He adds, however, that the effectiveness of this step depends largely on how much emphasis the company places on its culture versus achieving sales and growth targets.

8. Stick it out.
You have tried your best to resolve the problems with your boss, but it hasn’t helped. But you are working for a dream company and would like to have a long-term career there. Seriously think about just sticking it out, however unpalatable that might sound. Remember that bosses also rotate so you won’t have to bear your current boss forever. Or your job function could change where you don’t have to deal with this person all the time.

9. Time to move on.
Then there are times when nothing seems to work and you can’t take it any more. It may be time to accept that if the relationship with your boss is too destructive for your peace of mind and career prospects. Look for another job, either within the company but in another department, or with another organization. Many companies conduct exit interviews where you may finally get a chance to elaborate extensively on your frustrations, even if it means you then walk out the door.
Read, Learn and Flourish!
For Your Success and Glory!