Ask “Z”

How to properly apologize … to your boss

April 8, 2016
Q. I got into an argument with my manager over the best way to handle a dicey situation, and tempers flared a bit. The next day, I emailed him a half-hearted apology while joking that I still think I’m right. Now he’s madder than ever at me. What did I do wrong?

Think twice before you run to your supervisor

March 23, 2016
Q. I have a co-worker who’s driving me crazy. He taunts me about my fast and accurate work (he’s error-prone), and he thinks I’m a “goody two-shoes.” I’ve tried to talk to him but he’s never going to let up. I guess I should talk to my supervisor, right?

Retaining employees is about more than salary

March 10, 2016
Q. We’re going to lose one of our smartest people. She’s hinting that she’s going to quit because we just can’t pay her enough. I really have no way to match the compensation she can get elsewhere. Am I destined to lose her?

Know what you must know to make wise decisions

February 25, 2016
Q. I need to acquire more breadth and depth of knowledge to run our business. We’re in an information-laden field. I just can’t stay on top of the latest data and track ever-changing trends. Any tips beyond saying, “I don’t know but I’ll find out” all the time?

Getting the bosses to quiet down

February 12, 2016

Q. The loudest people here are the two directors who rule the roost. They have booming voices that you can hear a mile away. When they walk down the hall, everyone stops working because their conversation is so distractingly loud. How can I tell them to quiet down?

Ally with leaders who embody core values

January 28, 2016
Q. Our core values are integrity, fairness, blah, blah, blah. You see these core values everywhere—on the wall in our lobby, on our screen-savers, at the end of emails. Yet the CEO ignores the values by yelling at underlings and cutting corners. Why should I honor them if he doesn’t?

When an employee is lacking, but just adept enough

January 15, 2016
Q. I’ve got an employee who keeps me up at night. Not only is his job performance lacking, but he also has personality traits that drive me crazy. I’ve already put him on probation, but he’s adept at meeting just enough of the job requirements to prevent me from terminating him. Help!

Overhaul culture to flush out negative ­influencers

January 7, 2016
Q. For years, we’ve had some incredibly negative people here. They bash everything we do as managers, and they dismiss all of our triumphs as somehow phony or not worth celebrating. I’ve tried everything to shut them down, to no avail. Any suggestions?

Overhaul culture to flush out negative ­influencers

December 18, 2015

Q. For years, we’ve had some incredibly negative people here. They bash everything we do as managers, and they dismiss all of our triumphs as somehow phony or not worth celebrating. I’ve tried everything to shut them down, to no avail. Any suggestions?

Know just when to say ‘yes’

December 4, 2015
Q. To manage time better, consultants always say, “Learn to say no.” Well, I’m getting the sense I say no way too often. I’m very efficient, and I don’t overbook myself. But it feels like I’m not a team player because I never volunteer for committees and I refuse to help when asked. Should I change?