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How to successfully manage your manager

Introduction

In the complex world of work, effective communication and collaboration are essential for a thriving professional relationship. Successfully managing your manager can significantly impact your job satisfaction, career growth, and overall work experience. In this blog, we’ll explore strategies for navigating the dynamics of the employee-manager relationship, fostering a positive and productive connection.

Understand Their Management Style

Every manager has a unique management style. Take the time to observe and understand how your manager prefers to communicate, their expectations, and their approach to leadership. This awareness lays the foundation for effective collaboration.

Open and Honest Communication

Clear communication is key to any successful relationship. Establish open lines of communication with your manager, providing regular updates on your projects, seeking clarification when needed, and expressing your thoughts and concerns. A transparent dialogue fosters understanding and alignment.

Clarify Expectations

Ensure you have a clear understanding of your manager’s expectations. Discuss goals, priorities, and performance metrics to align your work with their vision. This proactive approach helps you stay on track and minimises misunderstandings.

Proactive Problem Solving

Managers appreciate employees who take initiative. When faced with challenges, propose solutions and alternatives. By being proactive in problem-solving, you not only demonstrate your commitment but also make your manager’s job easier.

Build Trust and Reliability

Trust is the foundation of any successful professional relationship. Consistently delivering high-quality work, meeting deadlines, and being reliable contribute to building trust with your manager. Trust is reciprocal, and a trustworthy relationship benefits both parties.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Workplace dynamics can change, and adaptability is a valuable trait. Be flexible in your approach to tasks and projects and demonstrate a willingness to adjust your work style to align with changing priorities or circumstances.

Seek Feedback and Act on It

Actively seek feedback from your manager on your performance. Constructive criticism is an opportunity for growth. Demonstrate a receptive attitude and show that you are committed to continuous improvement by implementing the feedback provided.

Anticipate Needs and Provide Solutions

Gain a deep understanding of your manager’s priorities and anticipate their needs. By proactively providing solutions and addressing potential issues before they become major concerns, you position yourself as a valuable and indispensable team member.

Manage Upwards

Managing your manager doesn’t mean manipulation; it’s about understanding their needs and helping them succeed. Anticipate their preferences, communicate effectively, and be attuned to their goals. By doing so, you contribute to a positive working relationship.

Show Appreciation

Recognise and appreciate your manager’s efforts. A simple acknowledgment of their guidance or a note of appreciation can go a long way in building a positive rapport. Cultivate a culture of gratitude and mutual respect.

Conclusion

Successfully managing your manager is a skill that can enhance your professional journey and contribute to a positive workplace environment. By understanding their style, communicating openly, and demonstrating proactive and adaptive behaviour, you can build a strong and collaborative relationship with your manager, fostering mutual success and growth. Remember, effective management is a two-way street that requires effort and commitment from both sides.

Appreciate the opportunity, embrace the challenge. Because you will learn and grow more from a difficult boss than you ever will from a great or easy boss. A difficult boss will challenge you in more ways than you can imagine.

Mary AbbajayManaging Up: How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss