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Business news solutions items — Feb. 2

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Developing talent

Q: One of the new guys on my team is energetic and talented; how do I also help him become able to learn from others and ask questions when he should? He’s getting in his own way.

A: Be blunt if you need to, while sending a message that you’re invested in his success.

How do you feel about him? Does his energy energize or drain you? Are you frustrated or challenged? As his manager, it’s up to you to provide an environment that supports him while also looking out for the team, the company and, of course, yourself.

Reflect on yourself early in your career, others you’ve observed and managers you’ve seen who have helped employees work though a similar dynamic.

If you haven’t developed specific performance objectives, those need to be defined.

Arrange for a mentor; a knowledgeable person who isn’t in direct authority can be very helpful. If you don’t get through to him? Let him know the implications if he can’t adapt; he might not be in the right company and needs to look elsewhere. If he wants to be there, that should get his attention.

Some new professionals need strong leadership in order to reach their potential; this is your opportunity to help him on his path.

— By Liz Reyer

Minneapolis Star Tribune

E-mail mistake

Q: I accidentally sent my boss an email meant for my husband. Because I was very frustrated, I called her an idiot and said some other unflattering things. She has not mentioned receiving this message. Should I apologize or just forget about it?

A: Since your boss is likely to read any communication from her staff, you can probably assume that she’s seen your email rant. And unless she has incredibly thick skin, odds are that she’s feeling hurt and offended. Expressing contrition may not erase the problem, but it might reduce the emotional damage.

For example: “Last week, I mistakenly sent you an email meant for my husband. Because I’d had a tough day, I was venting my frustrations and made some negative comments about you, which I truly regret. I hope you can disregard my stupid statements, because I really do value our working relationship.”

To avoid future email catastrophes, remember these precautions: Never insult anyone in writing, and always check the “to” line before hitting send.

— By Marie G. McIntyre

McClatchy-Tribune News


Unlivable situation

Q: We own a rental condominium. The association recently started working on the balcony, saying the rebar was rusted and creating a safety issue. Before we knew it, the work extended into the living room and the condo became completely unlivable. We have endured this for a year now and even had to pay a large special assessment. We have not been able to rent the property but still have to pay the mortgage and association dues.

A: Talk to your association to address your concerns with the length of the work. The association and the contractor have the responsibility to ensure that the work is being done properly and in a reasonable time.

You must show the board is being negligent in how it is dealing with the problem. You still need to pay your dues. While many people living in condos do not maintain homeowner’s insurance, your situation highlights the importance of maintaining a policy. Check with your insurance company to see if it has coverage for your situation, such as reimbursement for your loss of ability to use the property.

— By Gary M. Singer

Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

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