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Expert Advice for Managing Multiple Bosses

It is common these days for a single employee to have between one and seven supervisors. Seven! Amy Gallo writes for the Harvard Business Review about what the heck to do about pleasing all these people.

Bring a Lot of Candy

The three most common challenges to satisfying multiple bosses are work overload, conflicting messages between bosses, and having to spread your loyalty thin. Fortunately, Gallo provides a lot of pointers in response. First, know who your ultimate boss is, the one who completes your reviews and most directly influences your career prospects, so that you can (pragmatically) appease him or her first. Second, be proactive about your workload by trying to coordinate certain activities with bosses, in addition to casually letting them know how much is on your plate at a given time. If you can help it, bring your bosses together in one room to discuss their needs with each other, so that you do not need to be a constant ambassador for other people’s needs.

Beyond that, remember to set boundaries about when and how often interruptions can occur, so that your day is not punctuated by a steady stream of boss interruptions. Usually, there is nothing malicious intended when a boss drops a big new pile of work on your desk, so do not take the punishment personally. At the full article, you can read two separate case studies of these principles in action. You can view it all here: https://hbr.org/2011/08/managing-multiple-bosses.html

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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