January 23, 2017
At the office, my boss’ poor planning results in rush projects and late days for me. How can I address this to achieve a change?
Cagily, gingerly, persuasively and realistically.
• Cagily. I once reported to a high-level executive who made a very clumsy public comment. He wasn’t aware that it bombed. Embarrassed for him, I pondered what to do, and made a calculated risk. First, I gauged him to be humble. And two, he was passionate about being an effective leader. So I decided to roll the dice.
• Gingerly. I figured the best approach for both of us was a delicately stated note that included the wording for a suggested apology. I submitted it with perspiration. It worked! He later apologized to the same group. They broke into applause as I wiped my brow.
• Persuasively. Appeal to your boss’ self interest. How would better planning benefit him and the office? Cite an example of when he planned well, and its effect. How could your performance improve (and better reflect on him) with improved planning?
• Realistically. Bosses usually don’t like corrective input from their subordinates. If they did, they would invite it. Plus, it can backfire. The boss can conclude that you’re the problem; that you’re not nimble and flexible. And even if he does receive it, making the change will probably not be easy.
Gird your loins, grit your teeth and build your resilience. If you can’t take it, seek a better option.