8 Skills Needed to Work For Multiple Bosses

Michele Warg
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Working for multiple bosses is no easy task, but many administrative assistants and other employees sometimes find themselves in this tricky situation. Instead of collapsing under the stress and feeling pulled in every direction, work on these key professional skills to manage multiple supervisors like an expert.

1. Problem Solving

Conflict often arises when you work for more than one boss. When several managers want your full attention for their respective tasks, offer some solutions. Consider dedicating different days of the week to different managers or asking for deadline extensions.

2. Organization

When you're juggling multiple bosses, it's easy to lose track of assignments and deadlines. Learn to make thorough notes, keeping all files and papers organized in folders based on task and assigning manager.

3. Priority-Setting

You constantly receive tasks from supervisors, and each boss would probably like you to give his task the highest priority. Rather than prioritizing tasks based on the assigning manager, rank them based on how important they are for the company as a whole.

4. Keeping Your Cool

Getting conflicting messages from different managers can take a toll on your patience, so work on maintaining a laid-back attitude. This can both minimize stress and help you avoid snapping at your supervisors and coworkers.

5. Communication

Managers don't always communicate with one other, so you may find yourself working as the middleman. Make it clear to all your supervisors what you're able to do and when you can do it. If one supervisor is a senior to the others, remind them that when you're in a tight spot you may need to put that supervisor's needs first.

6. Workload Control

When you have multiple bosses, your combined workload may not be readily apparent to each individual manager. If your supervisors tend to assign tasks as if you have no other responsibilities, learn to say no. Politely let them know what projects you're working on for other managers, and offer a solution using your problem-solving skills.

7. Planning

While other employees may get away with making decisions as they go, working for multiple bosses takes more foresight. Use a planner or scheduling software to map out your work week and individual work days based on your priorities.

8. Flexibility

Even if you've prioritized all your tasks and planned out your work week, a supervisor may come up with a sudden urgent task, or a previously low-priority task might change in status. You have to be ready to change your strategy, switch up your schedule or tune your work process at a moment's notice.

Working under the directions of different managers can be tough, but don't sweat it. These eight professional skills can help you transform yourself into a pro when it comes to juggling multiple bosses.


Photo courtesy of 89studio at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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