Developing people skills is vital whether you are dealing with your boss, your peers and colleagues, your potential customers, or your employees. As someone with fear of failure trying to make progress in your career, however, the person most likely to loom largest is your boss.

There’s no getting away from it – working for a bad boss is hell. A bad boss can obsess, oppress and depress us – reducing a potentially enjoyable job to a confidence-sapping imprisonment. Many people alter course in their careers, often with disastrous results, simply to escape a bad boss. My decision to become an entre­preneur, for instance, was majorly influenced by some appalling experiences in this respect (made far worse, no doubt, by the ...

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