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Chapter 21. Getting Help from Others, In... > Approaching Smart—Involving Smart - Pg. 225

Getting Help from Others, Including the Boss 225 There's no substitute for knowing and understanding your boss, because each person is different. Figure out what your boss needs and wants, and you'll do much better when you need help. Forget trying to classify everything as right or wrong here. You have to know your boss well enough to figure out whether or not to ask for help or to keep him or her informed. That's part of the long- term relationship thing. If you establish a good long-term relationship with your boss, either you already know or you can just ask, "Do you want to be involved in this situation?" Here are some things to ask yourself before seeking help from the boss: · Have I tried to work with the problem co-worker and hit a brick wall? · Do I need the authority and clout of my boss to solve this problem? · Is the problem associated with some bottom-line result? Can I demonstrate that the problem is important? · Is my boss likely to perceive my request for help positively or negatively? Will it overdraw my account? Approaching Smart--Involving Smart Let's say you've tried to work out a problem with a co-worker, a serious problem, and you need the involvement of the boss because your co-worker won't listen to anyone else. You feel your boss will be predisposed to help because you can demonstrate that the co-worker is causing significant bot- tom-line damage. So, how do you involve the boss in a smart way? How do you approach the boss? The Approach Process While bosses differ in how they can be best approached, we can make at least a few generalizations here. If you follow these principles and tactics you are far more likely to succeed. First, your approach needs to involve laying out the facts of the issue or problem and how the situation is having a clear and obvious effect on things that may be important to the boss. Usually bottom-line impacts or impacts on the quality of work or customer service work well. But there may be other effects you might want to use. For example, if you know your boss has a thing for teamwork and harmony, you can use that. If your boss doesn't give a rat's butt about teamwork, then it's not something you should mention. From the Manager's Desk First things first: Explain the facts of the issue and the consequences of the problem in ways your boss will understand and value. Don't count on the consequences being obvious. There's no substitute for knowing your boss.