Office Coach: Be patient with inexperienced managers

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Question: After almost 30 years, I still love working in retail. The only problem is that my bosses are usually young people in their first management position. Most of them appreciate my long experience and recognize my customer service abilities. A few, however, have become obsessed with their newfound authority and turned into little dictators. What's the best way to handle that type of supervisor?

Answer: Dealing with brand-new managers requires patience, understanding and a good sense of humor. Your retail expertise is now well established, but you undoubtedly made some blunders and bad calls at the start of your career. Reflecting on those early errors may help you empathize with baby bosses who are just beginning to develop leadership skills.

The ones who have a natural talent for management will automatically value and admire your experience. But those who are insecure and easily threatened may compensate by deliberately demonstrating the power of their position. For new managers, overuse of authority is a common rookie mistake.

Instead of becoming resentful or defensive, remember that these young supervisors are going through an uncomfortable learning curve. They will therefore appreciate employees who are courteous, cooperative and helpful. Even when you don't particularly respect the occupant, you can still show respect for the position.

Management requires a multitude of skills, and no one person possesses them all. Some people, however, should not be allowed anywhere near a management position. So if you encounter any truly toxic bosses, the problem is not their age but their personality.

yourbiz

Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach: www.yourofficecoach.com.


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