Rebecca Ashery, Ph.D

Your Work Coach & Counselor


Develop the self-awareness needed to manage your relationships for a successful and happy life!

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The Parents With Careers Workbook

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Seeing Red in 10 Minutes: The over 40's Guide to Red Flag Dates


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It seems to happen more often than you think.  Your supervisor may think that it is important to work on project A, but you think that project B is more important.  Your supervisor wants you to formerly acknowledge every e-mail that you receive and you don’t have time for that.  Your supervisor wants something done a specific way, but you do it your way.  And then you end up in trouble.  Your supervisor is not happy with your performance although you think you have accomplished your assignments.  Your supervisor may be a micro-manager and may want things done her way although they might not make sense to you.  How do you avoid these dilemmas?  First, it is important to talk with your supervisor and find out why she wants something done a certain way or explain how much time the e-mails take.  If she still insists, then do it!!  I have a philosophy – As long as what she is asking is not illegal, immoral (however that might be interpreted) and professionally incorrect (operating on the wrong hip; calculating the statistics incorrectly; purchasing the wrong software) then do what she asks.  By cooperating with her initially, you will gain her trust and open the door to additional opportunities.  Choose your battles and these issues are not one of them.  

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Question  - My boss always gives the special assignments to two people in our branch.  These special assignments are helpful in moving ahead.  How can I get the boss to give me a special assignment?

Answer -   How do you do on your regular assignments?  Are your regular assignments on time needing only minor modifications?  Do you have the expertise for the special assignment?  Your boss is only giving special assignments to the employees whom she can count on to do well on their regular assignments and who have the expertise for the special assignment.   

If you are doing well in your regular assignments and have the knowledge and experience needed to do the special assignments, you need to have a talk with your boss.  Make an appointment and talk with her candidly, but do not make demands.  Tell her that you would like the opportunity to have special assignments to demonstrate more of your capabilities..  You may want to talk with her about your goals in the company.  Remind her of the successes you have had and how you think you will be able to help.  Ask her if there is anything else you need to do in order to get a special assignment.  If she tells you that you need to upgrade your job performance or make some additional improvements prior to a special assignment, then set up some goals and timelines with her and work together toward the special assignment.  You might also suggest assisting someone on the assignment so that you can have the opportunity to acquire new knowledge if the special assignments do not specifically cover your area of expertise, 

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1.      Avoid the temptation of thinking, “it’s easier if I do it myself!”

2.      Everyone has a different work style and different ways of approaching and solving problems.  Don’t get upset if it is not done “my way”.  The results may be the same or even better!

3.      Don’t assume that everyone understands. Always write up the key points and action steps for every meeting to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

4.      Don’t try to control everything.  You will go crazy!

5.      If you are a new manager, give up your old role.  Being a manager means a new way of thinking and doing. 

6.      Hang around!  Your staff wants your visible presence and availability

7.      Learn the art of “constructive criticism”, “gentle confrontation,” and candor.  

8.      Often there are no bad employees.  Problems lie in the system in which they are working.  Take a “systems” approach.

9.      Don’t be biased by what your predecessor says about individuals on your team

10.  Remember it’s all about relationships!

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