On Managing Your Managers


My time in the work force started when I was 16, a total of 6 years. During this time I have been privileged to work for many great organizations. I have learned invaluable skills and met many amazing people on my journey. Occasionally, however in your journey you will be faced with managers that are for lack of a better term: less than desirable to work for.

There have been two instances I can think of where my manager and I have clashed, our personalities were very different. I’m type-a and like everything to be organized and planned ahead and in both cases these managers were type-b’s getting things done off schedule and rolling with the punches. I do not mean to say that being a type-b is a bad trait to have, in fact in many circumstances it can prove to be incredibly useful. But, in my case it was the mere fact that we had different working styles that would create tension. I’m sure this would be the case if the tables were turned.

Dealing with managers that you don’t see eye to eye with can be tricky. Clearly you don’t want to offend their management style but at the same time not dealing with a situation like this can lead to a lot of frustration.

When situations like this arise I believe that dealing with the problem is the way to handle the situation. My tactics are as follows;:

Communicate. This is a key in any organization, if you explain where you are coming from perhaps your manager will be more likely to respond in a positive way. Never criticize, this only leads to bad things. Let your manager know what you need, and why you need it.

Discuss. Ask them what they need and talk to them about what you can do to improve. Hopefully this turns into a discussion what is working well for you and what you need to succeed. If this happens you could simply say it would be great if you could tell me about upcoming projects and what role I will be playing in them. Indirectly you are asking what work you can expect in the next little while.

Manage them. If all else fails you may need to resort to “managing them”. I do not mean to say that you should perceive yourself as their boss, because you aren’t. By this I mean stay on top of your work load and reconcile with your manager daily or weekly. Be pro-active and get things done that you know they will need in a few days time. By doing this you are ensuring you will be stress-free. Even if your manager asks for something to be completed with only a couple days notice you will have worked ahead. This system however isn’t perfect as there may be things you cannot predict. But hopefully by communicating with your manager about upcoming projects and deadlines you will be able to eliminate stress from your work life.

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1 Response to On Managing Your Managers

  1. Pingback: Relocating For work | CESA

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