October 26, 2011 / 12:27 PM / 7 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Manage your many bosses

A businessman (R) glances at other men through a work of outdoor art in Tokyo April 2, 2007. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

BOSTON (Reuters) - More and more people report to more than one boss, and learning to handle multiple managers is an essential skill in today’s complex, and often dysfunctional, organizations, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http:\\www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“Navigating the relationship with one’s manager is complicated enough — having numerous managers creates an even bigger challenge.

Here are three tips for dealing with multiple bosses:

1. Know what you’re up against. Look out for the most common challenges — work overload and conflicting messages — so you can proactively handle them.

2. Get your bosses to communicate. Whether you need to resolve contradictory directions, reduce your workload, or sort out inconsistent demands, get your bosses to talk with each other about their agendas.

3. Keep a positive attitude. It can be tough not to get caught in the middle. Remember that the conflicts are most likely because of the situation, not you.”

- Today’s management tip was adapted from “Managing Multiple Bosses” by Amy Gallo.

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