“Not only will such opportunities optimize your prospects, they will give you a broader perspective about upper management’s concerns and insights,” writes Mr. Corbell, a profit professional and business-performance consultant in Seattle (http://bizcoachinfo.com).
Mr. Corbell has contracted with companies in human resources to mentor both difficult and key employees, alike, in addition to his other management services.
“It’s helpful to know what your bosses read,” advises Mr. Corbell. “That’d be a huge advantage over peers with whom you are competing for a promotion.”
But he’s quick to warn: “Don’t give even the slightest hint or appearance of going over your boss’s head.” He says if you do, you will alienate your boss.
“What’s more, if your boss’s boss has any sense of decorum, such a manager will become distant and you’ll be stigmatized – marked as a difficult employee – possibly, in your career for years to come,” Mr. Corbell cautions.
“That’s right, it will hurt your situation in your company, and savvy head hunters and employers will probably find out,” he explains. “They will be apprehensive about taking a chance on hiring you. Besides, following protocol is the right thing to do.”
Mr. Corbell's strategies include the dos and don'ts of communicating with the boss's boss.
1. Do have a sense of timing. Yes, be enthusiastic, but be sophisticated in your approach. Be strategic – know when to act or talk.
2. Do look for opportunities to get the manager’s attention. You can send a congratulatory note when the person has a noteworthy success. If you have a staff meeting with the manager present, follow up with a germane news article. Use such occasions to ask questions – if the manager is the logical person. You never know when you might have a chance meeting. So, know and use the top 11 tips for a great elevator pitch (http://www.bizcoachinfo.com/
3. Do deliver strong results in your work. Develop a reputation for being your department’s go-to person, who can keep confidences. If you get a great compliment from a peer or customer, look for an opportunity to suggest that the person send a comment to your boss, who will most likely share it within the company. Usually, such compliments will make your immediate supervisor proud. Be prepared for good things to result with strategies to advance into management (http://www.bizcoachinfo.com/
4. Do volunteer for projects outside your realm of responsibilities. Market yourself by increasing your exposure inside and outside the company. Join associations pertinent to your company’s mission. Do charitable work.
1. Don’t commit a faux pas. It’s not only a matter of what you do; it’s how you do it – with style.
2. Don’t be aggressive. Know the difference between being aggressive vis-à-vis being assertive. If you are aggressive, you will unknowingly be giving away your power.
3. Don’t ignore opportunities to demonstrate your abilities and aptitude for teamwork. When necessary, choose to agree with others but maintain your composure and look for opportunities to compromise. You want to be known as being flexible.
4. Don’t forget to be patient. Listen. Dealing with others requires knowing the art of persuasion, which is a process of give-and-take. Ask open-ended questions. The most persuasive people listen 90 percent in each conversation.
Mr. Corbell's portal, The Biz Coach, provides countless business-coaching strategies: Planning, Operations, Marketing/Sales, Finance, Tech, Public Policy, HR, and Wall Street.
Plus, it has informative news videos: World, U.S. Business, Economy, Markets, Health and Sports.
All columns and videos are free.
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Biz Coach Terry Corbell is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Also as a longtime media columnist, he publishes performance-