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09 Managing your boss > What do you do when things go wrong? - Pg. 155

Managing Your Boss 155 anything: she always responded by saying it couldn't be done ­ and certainly not within the proposed timescales. This criticism came through in her appraisals, but she resisted the feedback on the basis that, in reality, she always delivered ­ and on time. And the evidence supported her assertion. However, others were judging her on her first response. She realized that a deep breath and a more positive reaction was enough to change others' perceptions about her, including her boss, and her subsequent reviews were more positive. So the message is clear: no matter how tempting it is to moan, see if you can keep a lid on it! What do you do when things go wrong? What about when it goes wrong? Our research clearly indicated that a poor relationship with a boss is one of the greatest political challenges ­ and the reason why many people leave the organ- ization they work for. Although the original source is unclear, the observation `People don't leave companies, they leave bosses' is much cited. Our research certainly supports that; in our qualitative research, most people talked unprompted about problems with their managers ­ both current and previous. When things go wrong with the boss, you will be missing out on all of the positive benefits listed at the beginning of this chapter, which a strong line manager can give you. But worse than that, it is one of the greatest sources of workplace stress. It gets in the way of effective working and may be damaging to the team, both in terms of productivity and morale. In extreme instances, you find a department united against a common enemy ­ the boss! But that's just about the only `positive' knock-on effect that poor management can deliver. Given that, it's surprising how many individuals are reluctant to stand up to their boss and actively manage the situation. Instead