How to Manage Your Manager

It is not unusual for employees to struggle with a manager. Whether your supervisor micromanages or assigns you an unreasonable workload, issues with your boss impact all aspects of your work life.

Problems with your manager may even bleed into your personal life, leaving you stressed and anxious outside of the workplace. To maintain a functioning relationship with your manager, you need to find ways of managing him or her throughout the day. In doing so, you can reduce the pressure you feel to please your manager and strengthen your relationship with him or her as well.

There are several approaches you can take to learn how to manage your manager. While your manager holds a superior position, he or she must be able to delegate work efficiently. A good manager understands the importance of listening to the employees under his or her care. The sections below go over basic tips to keep in mind when interacting with your manager that keep your work relationship healthy and productive.

Learn How to Take Initiative

To effectively manage your manager, you must establish a balance between his or her authority and your performance level. If you have a difficult manager, you may hesitate to speak up when something needs to be addressed. As a result, your work performance may struggle.

Do not be afraid to take initiative when dealing with your manager. This can come in various forms and can be adapted to almost any workplace situation. For example, if you are dealing with a manager who constantly checks in on your progress, take the initiative and provide daily or weekly updates before he or she can ask for a progress report.

You do not need to meet with your manager in person to provide him or her with a summary of your progress for the week. You can send an email instead if you prefer telecommunication or do not have the option to meet throughout the day.

However, you’ll need to adapt your approach to the workplace culture that already exists. For example, if you work in a retail store where email use is not commonplace, you may need to provide your progress report in person.

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To provide in-person updates, reach out to your manager and request a meeting at a time that is convenient for both of you. During this meeting, update your manager on the projects you have finished thus far. Provide him or her with a brief overview of what you plan to tackle next.

In taking the initiative, you are showing that you understand what is expected of you at work. You may even impress your manager by demonstrating how efficient you are at your job.

Keep Your Manager in the Loop

Learning how to communicate with your supervisor is essential if you want to find ways of managing his or her expectations for you. Often, managers become frustrated if they are unsure of what you are doing throughout the workday. If you do not maintain open communication, you cannot expect him or her to know how much work you complete or whether you are unhappy with a designated task.

Your manager is your superior at work, but he or she cannot do the job properly if the company’s employees do not communicate when there is an issue. If you know you are incapable of handling a task assigned to you, tell him or her in advance. If something comes up that delays a project’s progress, let your boss know what happened.

By communicating regularly with your manager, you can reassure him or her that you are an active and engaged employee. This ultimately helps your manager adjust his or her expectations and demands accordingly.

A manager cannot effectively perform his or her job if employees are consistently avoiding conversation. Additionally, most employees cannot effectively perform their jobs without regular check-ins. Therefore, you should communicate regularly with your supervisor about issues that come up during the workday.

Maintaining open communication with your manager is also beneficial during your performance review. If you believe you have been working hard, you can cite your active communication to prove it.

You should be able to directly ask your manager about the prospect of receiving a raise or promotion if you feel you deserve it. If you plan on requesting a raise or promotion, come prepared with a list of projects you have completed or examples of how you have improved the business.

Display a Strong Work Ethic

Your manager may be hard on you if he or she feels you are not as dedicated to your work as other employees. To alleviate this issue, you should demonstrate a strong work ethic. This can reassure your manager that you can handle the work you have been assigned, and that you are an engaged and dedicated employee.

You can choose to show your work ethic in a variety of ways. What strategies you adopt largely depends on where you work. For example, if you work in an office, showing up early or staying late a few times to complete a larger project can make a big difference.

When you choose to work outside of your designated hours, you are showing your supervisor your dedication and commitment levels. If you do not work in an office or don’t want to work outside your regular hours, volunteering for additional assignments or brainstorming new ideas can demonstrate dedication as well.

Your manager wants to see evidence of your work ethic, and you must show how much you care about the job if you want to remain in your position. Taking some initiative to get projects done can convey how hard you work and how dedicated you are to be completing your job.

Work on submitting your assignments earlier or pick up a few extra shifts when your manager is looking for help. Come up with new ideas that boost the company’s performance or team camaraderie. When you work hard, your manager notices your efforts.

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