Thinking Aloud
Monday, October 23, 2006 VOLUME 3 ISSUE 131  
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CONTENTS
Top Mistakes of Would-Be Superstars
Ask Liz
A Nineteen Year Shock
October WorldWIT Website Columns
Time of the Month - Happy About Online Networking by Liz Ryan
Building a Feedback Loop into the Tactical Business Plan by Giselle Lederman
On the Road Again: Protecting Laptop Information During Travel by Wendy S. Kelley
Do Ask, Do Tell - Networking Alchemy by Liz Ryan
Tech Workplace - How to Make Your Tech Business Commute Friendly by Liz Ryan
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Ask Liz
Why couldn't I be frank with my old boss when I worked for her?
http://www.worldwit.org/ThinkingAloud/As...

Dear Liz,

I guess this is a relationship question, but itís work-related. I worked for a terrific boss at my last job and since I moved on to a new company weíve become close friends. I love my new job and Iím really glad that my old boss and I are now such helpful advisors to one another. The only thing that kind of bothers me is that I can give her really frank, meaningful advice on her job now, whereas when I worked for her I always felt there was a wall up, where I could maybe gently suggest a change in a process, but never push too hard. Is this normal? I greatly admire this friend, but am I right to be slightly irritated that she didnít listen to me so seriously when I gave her great advice while working for her?

Yours,
Tracey

Dear Tracey,

I understand your feelings, but donít be too hard on your old boss/new friend. There are a number of barriers to ideal, authentic communication that were in place while you worked for her but that have disappeared since you changed jobs. For one thing, you were already friendly with her when you two worked together. Try to imagine the conflict she may have felt, wanting to hear your great advice, but possibly being wary that other team members would see you as a Ďteacherís petí or fault her for taking her leadership advice from a subordinate. Also, she may have been barred by company policy or her own standards from certain relevant bits of information with you, whereas nowadays the two of you can talk freely as friends about everything thatís on your friendís desk and on her mind at work. Be happy that youíve reached a more fulfilling and useful level of conversation with her. And if you want to, some evening over a glass of wine, you can ask her, ďAm I giving you better advice now that I donít work for you, or was it just the boss-subordinate relationship that made it harder for us to advise one another back at XYZ Corp?Ē I betcha sheíll fill you in, gladly.

Cheers,
Liz


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