Dear CC: I am at a loss for why the relationship between my boss and me has turned chilly. Over the past year, she promoted me, cultivated my talents, and gave me great reviews. Then a few weeks ago, she berated me for a small matter. Now she thinks I can't do anything right. How can I get back in my boss's good graces?

Be honest with yourself. Is there someone new in the office who is kicking ass, raising expectations about what is possible from all of you? Or has your work slipped on its own? Are you approaching things with the same passion, or are you taking those good reviews as a sign you can coast? (You can't-perhaps you've heard the phrase, "What have you done for me lately?") Then again, there are bosses who periodically like to pit people against one another, either as a motivational technique or simply for sadistic satisfaction. As a loyal employee, CC hates it. As a boss, damn, that works well.

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