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(MCT)—Thinking of giving the boss a holiday gift? Be cautious, it could turn out badly. Here are tips for how to do it right.

• Consider making it a group gift. Ask your co-workers to chip in for a present you all give to the boss. “Trying to ‘show up’ or ‘out-gift’ other workers makes you look bad and manipulative,” said Lahle Wolfe, About.com’s business etiquette expert.

• “Buy something that’s personal—but not too personal,” said Alan R. Schonberg, author of “169 Ways to Score Points with Your Boss.” “Choose something related to your boss’ hobbies— such as golf, photography or cooking.”

• Consider something durable and useful, such as a fancy pen or key chain. “A gift of this nature will remind your boss daily that you are considerate and thoughtful,” noted Schonberg.

• Don’t go overboard. “If you spend too much, your boss—who, after all, knows what you make—may decide that you’re a toadying fool,” wrote Sue Fox, author of “Business Etiquette for Dummies.”

• If your boss is the suspicious type, maybe you should skip the gift-giving —it could backfire. “You may look like you’re trying to curry favor with her, or worse, bribe her,” Fox said.

©2011 the Los Angeles Times
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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