YOUR BOSS IS A MONKEY

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Description: Say your boss is a yeller. If he yells and you slink off to do his bidding -- or if you yell back or cry -- then you'll be a Yell Bull's-eye for the rest of your life. Your strong reaction reinforces his behavior. Next time, stifle him with a training technique called "least-reinforcing scenario", or LRS. Make your face blank, make it Zen, make it Vulcan. After a moment of nonresponse, continue the conversation calmly. Your apparent indifference will smother the fire. Such a behavioral approach defies the classic "managing up" literature, which is full of soft-skills advice on "mutual understanding," "expectation setting," and "difficult conversations." You can't fault your boss's bad behavior when you've failed to use some of the primary principles of training. These are: 1. Ignore bad behavior. 2. Keep in mind that any interaction is training. 3. Reward the behavior you want.
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