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Becoming the Boss' Pet

Bob Goldman on

"Say 'thanks'" is another piece of advice to the lovelorn employee. A study by the University of Southern California shows "expressing thanks for your boss' feedback -- even if it's negative -- can make them feel warmer towards you."

I'm afraid I can't embrace this advice. If you say thanks to all the negative feedback dumped on you, you'll never have time for the appropriate responses -- tears, hair-pulling and holding your breath until you turn red.

Setting "stretch goals" is yet another suggestion from the Harvard Business School. (Better withdraw that application to Harvard Business School. With all the research these Harvard people do, it couldn't leave much time for toga parties.)

Stretch goals "go beyond what others thought were possible."

Setting such goals is indeed easy peasy. You could promise to actually finish an assignment on deadline, or spend an entire day at your desk without screaming warnings of a zombie attack.

Surprisingly, another way to become the boss' No. 1 squeeze is to take all your vacation days. Another study published in the Harvard Business Review (where else?) suggests that "working yourself to death doesn't necessarily lead to success."

The idea here is that taking all your vacation time is likely to leave you with "increased creativity post-break." This, in turn, will make your boss go gaga for you.

If true, why not push it to the limit? Take your vacation time and multiply by five. With any luck, you could be gone for so long that the boss forgets you are even on the team.

Now, that's something your boss can do that really deserves a "thanks."

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Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com. To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

 

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