New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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Managing Your Manager…

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” – Theodore Roosevelt

The relationship with your boss is the most important relationship of all workplace relationships. Most of us would agree that a bad relationship with the boss equates to a bad work experience. Let’s face it, good bosses are hard to find. If you have a poor relationship with your manager, there are steps you can take to try and improve the situation. It’s in your best interest to do so. This is what I call my four-point plan to help you “manage your manager” and create a better working relationship.

  1. Isolate two or three specific workplace behaviors that the boss has, which bother you. Once you have done this, try to identify steps you can proactively take to reduce the negative effect on you. Looking at your own behavior and responses may provide some insight on different ways to deal with this negative behavior. An example might be seeking clarification if your boss operates in a world of always giving vague instructions.
  2. Increase face-time with the boss. To help create a positive working relationship, request regular weekly meetings with your boss. The idea here is to clarify expectations, review projects, discuss goals and generally catch up to insure you are on tract.
  3. Accept feedback. Embrace constructive feedback as a means to improve the relationship. Your goal here is constant improvement. Don’t take negative feedback personally; it’s intended to facilitate learning and improvement. On the flip side, don’t accept unfair and baseless criticism.
  4. Finally, always strive to do your best and operate at a high level. Strive for excellence at all times.

Not every sour relationship with the boss is salvageable. However, following the above simple steps will help improve the dynamics between you and your manager.

Until next time…


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