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怎样识别恶魔老板?

更新时间:2014-2-19 12:58:42 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

How to Spot the Boss From Hell
怎样识别恶魔老板?

When a friend told Jessica Dean about a hot startup looking for a director of business development, she forwarded her resume. The New York-based company offered a new smartphone app that sounded innovative. Unfortunately, the owner's lack of professionalism raised red flags during the interview. He made lofty promises about company plans, used profane language, and overstated his qualifications. Ms. Dean took the job because her friend assured her that the owner-a friend of her friend's-would be a good boss.

The problems started right away. The owner didn't trust her, so would leave late-night voice mails asking if she'd completed her projects. 'Even my mother didn't care for him when she met him,' says Ms. Dean, who quit after six months.

Now, she looks for certain qualities when interviewing. 'If they're really informal like he was, that kind of says something about how they conduct their business,' says Ms. Dean. 'My new boss is the complete opposite and very professional in appearance and how he communicates.' Ms. Dean now works for a startup named Spuni.com in Brooklyn that makes baby products.

Bad bosses are a leading cause of workplace discontent, finds a recent Gallup poll, but few job hunters investigate their bosses before accepting job offers. One reason, say experts, is that job hunters don't want to risk challenging managers during interviews. But there are other ways to vet potential bosses.

For starters, dig for any information about the company, department and boss online and through your professional network. You can use websites like Glassdoor.com and search for industry bloggers with experience working for companies that you're interested in.

You can use the advanced search function on LinkedIn to find past employees from other companies and to look at references. Do past or present employees give the boss a good reference, and vice versa?

Find out how long the job has been open and why, says Gary Namie, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Wash. 'Has the job been open for a great deal of time?' says Mr. Namie. 'Have there been 10 previous employees cycled in and out of the job in a short amount of time?Those are warning signs you need to look out for and ask about.'

Ask the right questions about management style and workplace culture, says Lynn Taylor, workplace expert from Newport Beach, Calif., and author of 'Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant.' Try to find out how team-oriented the boss is and whether he or she gives credit to others.'Does the boss say 'I was able to do this for the company'?' says Ms. Taylor. ''I' accomplished that instead of 'we'-or 'the team'-accomplished that? That boss may be a solo flier. You want to find a boss that will have the best interest of you, your co-workers and the company in mind.'

Of course, most bad bosses are probably going to put on a good show during an interview, says Noelle Nelson, a psychologist from Los Angeles and author of 'Got a Bad Boss?'

Some of the worst bosses are narcissists who are self-absorbed and manipulative but capable of being charming when needed. Look for lapses in behavior, such as when the boss is communicating with employees. Is he suddenly cold or abrupt?

In one instance, Ms. Nelson worked with a client who was interviewed by the managing partner of a law firm for a paralegal job. The client noticed that the secretary seemed cowed by her boss whenever she interacted with him and there was no eye contact. The client later learned the boss had a temper and would shout at everybody in the office.

You'll get the best sense of a boss by observing the people who work with or for him or her. Are employees smiling and do they make eye contact? Is there upbeat energy or do you sense anxiety? A really bad boss can be a daily physical, mental and emotional grind that will inevitably show in the behavior and interactions of employees. Discouraged employees are also more likely to complain anonymously about their bosses online, says Ms. Nelson.

'Google that boss,' she says, 'and I can guarantee, if it's a really bad boss situation, somebody is writing about it.'

Try taking a co-worker or another manager aside and asking if they've ever addressed 'psychological violence' or 'workplace bullying' in their employment policies, says Mr. Namie. 'Not if it's happened there, but have they used the term? If they say that they don't know what you're talking about or it's never come up, methinks that they shut the door too quickly. The search for euphemisms may show an act of denial. Whereas, if they say that they don't tolerate that [stuff] or they address it as something they're working on, that's a very good sign.'

杰茜卡·迪安(Jessica Dean)从朋友那儿得知有家颇具前途的初创企业正物色一名商务拓展总监,于是她提交了自己的简历。这家位于纽约的企业销售一款听上去很有创意的手机应用。遗憾的是,该企业老板缺乏职业素养的行为在面试过程中发出了警示信号。他在谈论企业规划时大夸海口,谈吐粗鄙并过分夸大自己的资历。迪安最后还是接受了这份工作,因为她的朋友向她保证这个人──她朋友的朋友──会是一个好老板。

问题很快就出现了。这位老板并不信任她,甚至会于深夜在语音信箱留言询问她是否完成了项目。迪安说:“连我母亲见到他时也不喜欢他。”六个月后,她从这家公司辞职了。

现在,迪安在面试中会去注意老板的某些品质。她说:“如果他们表现得像他那样不专业,那就在某种程度上表明他们是如何经营生意的。我的新老板则是个截然相反的人,仪表和交流方式都非常专业。”她现在在布鲁克林一家名为Spuni.com、生产婴儿用品的初创企业工作。

盖洛普(Gallup)近期一项调查显示,老板差劲是引发职场不满情绪的首要原因,但是很少有求职者会在接受工作机会前调查他们的老板。专家们称,其中一个原因是求职者不想冒险在面试中质疑老板。不过,你还有其他方法去调查可能成为你老板的人。

首先,借助网络或是你的职场关系网发掘有关那家企业、部门及老板的信息。你可以利用诸如Glassdoor.com之类的网站,搜索曾在你意向企业工作过的行业博客博主。

你还可使用LinkedIn上的高级搜索功能来找出如今在其他企业工作的前员工,然后看看他们的评介。过往员工或现任员工对老板的评介好还是不好?

华盛顿州贝灵厄姆(Bellingham)维权组织Workplace Bullying Institute的创始人加里·纳米(Gary Namie)建议,要查明该职位空缺了多久及其原因。纳米说:“这个职位是不是空缺了很长时间?它之前是不是在很短的时间内就前前后后换过10个人?这些都是表明你需要当心并问明情况的警示信号。”

加州纽波特比奇(Newport Beach)职场专家、《驯服职场中的暴君》(Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant)一书的作者林恩·泰勒(Lynn Taylor)指出,要问对有关管理风格和职场文化的问题。尽量探明该老板的团队意识有多高,以及他或她是否会将功劳分给别人。泰勒说:“那位老板会说‘我为这家公司做了什么’吗?会说‘我’而不是“我们”或“团队”取得了那个成绩吗?(如果答案是肯定的)他或许是个注重自我的人。而你要找的是一个将你、你的同事以及企业的最大利益放在心上的老板。”

洛杉矶心理学家、《遇到坏老板怎么办?》(Got a Bad Boss?)的作者诺埃尔·纳尔逊(Noelle Nelson)指出,当然大多数坏老板可能会在面试中假装成好老板。

在那些糟糕的老板中,有些人是只顾自己、好操控人的自恋者,但是他们也能在必要之时表现得风度翩翩。要注意老板在与员工交流等场合中的行为疏漏。他会突然变得冷漠或粗鲁吗?

例如,纳尔逊的一名客户在申请一份律师助理工作时,面试官是该律师事务所的管理合伙人。这位客户注意到该合伙人的秘书似乎很怕他,每次和他交流时都没有眼神接触。该客户后来了解到那位合伙人脾气暴躁,会喝斥办公室里的每一个人。

通过观察老板的同僚或下属,你能最透彻地了解其为人。员工们交流时会面带笑容、有眼神接触吗?办公室的氛围是否愉快,或者你感觉到了紧张气氛?一个非常糟糕的老板会成为每天对身体、心理和精神的折磨,这不可避免地会在员工的行为和交流中表现出来。纳尔逊说,心情抑郁的员工更有可能在网上匿名抱怨他们的老板。

她还建议:“用谷歌(Google)搜索那个老板,我敢保证,如果那真是老板差劲的问题,肯定会有人把它写出来。”

纳米建议,可尝试单独找一位员工或另一名管理者,询问他们的雇佣政策是否曾论述过“心理暴力”或“职场欺凌”问题。他说:“这并不是要询问那儿是否发生过这种事情,而是要问他们是否使用过那个词汇?倘若他们说他们不知道你在说什么,或者说他们那儿从来没发生过那种事情,我认为他们否认得太快了。寻找委婉说法可能表示说话者在试图否认。反之,如果他们说他们不会容忍那种事情或者他们把它作为要致力解决的事情来对待,那会是一个很好的信号。”

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