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Chapter 21. Getting Help from Others, In... > Approaching Smart—Involving Smart - Pg. 226

Getting Help from Others, Including the Boss 226 You need to stick to the facts and focus on the effects in terms of what the boss values so that it's clear that you aren't asking for help to "get" the other person. Your motivation should never appear to be revenge or personal dislike. It should be about the company's success, getting work done, and even your boss's success. If you cut corners, don't present a fair factual account of the problem, and appear vindictive, you have about a 50­50 chance of turning your boss against you. Second, after you have presented the basic information, do not provide the solution to the boss unless you are asked for it or you are sure that's what the boss wants (again, know thy boss). Why? If you say, "Boss, fire this guy" or "Please go read the riot act," you'll appear to be using the boss as an instrument under your control. That's not a good thing. If your boss feels manipulated, then you end up worse off than when you started. The trick here is to lay it out and ask for advice rather than immediately offer a course of action you want the boss to take. Here's an example of an approach. Here are the players. Liz is the V.P. to whom Jack and Jill report. Jill has been having trouble getting information from Jack about their joint project, and from what Jill can figure, Jack is behind schedule and stonewalling. She's talked to Jack, but Jack turned really nasty in the private meeting. After considering whether this was worth involving Liz, she decides the project was too important to allow the problem to continue. So she arranges a meeting with Liz. After the usual pleasantries, Jill begins: "Liz, I've hit a problem on the XYZ project, which I know you've said is really important. I'm not sure what to do here and need some advice. Last Monday I tried to get a status update from