尼尔森是一名临床心理学家，她为电子书《如何让坏上司为你所用》（Got a Bad Boss? Work That Boss to Get What You Want at Work）进行了一些研究，然后给出了建议行为清单。尼尔森表示，在某种程度上，要成为一名好的上司，其实就是“观察糟糕的上司都做了什么，然后反其道而行。”她给出的开创强力开局的五条基本法则如下：
Dear Annie:I’m turning to you and your readers because, frankly, I’ve been all over the Internet researching my question and now I’m totally overwhelmed. The thing is, I just graduated from college at the end of May and I’ve never even had a “real” job before (just internships). But I’m now working for a small company where they immediately put me in charge of a team of eight people.
The technical side of it doesn’t worry me at all—I was hired because of something I invented and patented during my senior year, which we’re now developing into a new product line—but the management part is keeping me awake nights. I’ve had no training at all in how to be a boss, and I think people can tell I’m just sort of faking it. Do you have any suggestions? — Amateur Hour
Dear A.H.:It’s no wonder the Internet has left you overwhelmed. Google “management” and, as you probably already know, you get 749,000,000 hits. Happily, that’s way more than you need. As you get further along in your career, you’ll no doubt discover the many and varied ways that managers can be terrible at their jobs but, for now, says Noelle Nelson, you really only need to do five things.
Nelson, a clinical psychologist, bases her list on the research she did for her e-book, Got a Bad Boss? Work That Boss to Get What You Want at Work. To some extent, it’s a matter of “looking at what really bad bosses do, and then doing the opposite,” Nelson says. Her five basic ways to get off to a strong start:
Offer to help, and accept help when you need it.“A bad boss will never help others, or ask for help. He’s too insecure,” Nelson notes. “He doesn’t want to appear as if he doesn’t have all the answers or he fears that, if he helps someone to succeed, that person will get all the credit.”
Do your best on your own, of course, but “when you need a hand with something, don’t hesitate to ask,” she says. “At the same time, help others willingly and graciously, with no strings attached and without making people feel indebted to you as a result. This will earn you the respect you’ll need on your way up.”
If you have to give negative feedback, do it inprivate.“A bad boss has no problem with yelling at someone in front of everyone,” Nelson observes. “She may think she’s showing her authority, but in fact, criticizing people publicly is a sign of an incompetent manager.” Employee evaluations, especially less-than-stellar ones, are “not a spectator sport.”
Take criticism as an opportunity to learn.Because bad bosses are insecure, they aren’t open to suggestions about how to do things smarter, faster, or cheaper. But a “my way or the highway” attitude will usually discourage people from telling you about problems and setbacks, until it’s too late to fix them and you’re up to your elbows in alligators.
Avoid that. “There will be times, no matter how well you think things are going, that someone will tell you they’re not,” notes Nelson. “Listen up, glean as much useful information as you can, and then put your entire focus on doing better.”