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4 steps for managing your manager
Approximately 60% of candidates in Austria are looking to develop their skills and grow professionally in their job according to our current confidence index. People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. Most people complain about work itself, the long hours and the low pay, but what really makes people leave a company is bad management.
People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. Most people complain about work itself, the long hours and the low pay, but what really makes people leave a company is bad poor management. Most complaints are about poor communication, unrealistic demands, bad listening skills, and lack of support. Sometimes it’s all of these things! Good news though – you can improve the situation with these 4 tactics, and emerge as a better, stronger professional.
1. Get to the root of the problem
Many problems come from poor communication. Improve the flow between you and your manager and you’ll be happier and more productive. The thing is, most managers could be better at communication – they just might not be aware of the fact. But, like all of us, as people, they are not always aware they are bad at it! Maybe they believe their expectations and KPIs will trickle down to the team without explanation.
If it is like this, it‘s difficult to know what you are working towards. Book a meeting to tell your manager why you are there and what you want to get out of it. If your productivity gets better as a result of this chat, your boss may have learned a valuable lesson about communication.
2. Talk, talk, talk
If you have problems finding time to talk about your concerns informally, or don’t feel comfortable talking in front of colleagues, ask for a meeting.
This is useful If your manager is making unrealistic demands, which it is probably happening because they don’t know what you are doing. Explain your workload and the timeframes in place, and ask your manager to help you prioritise your tasks, setting goals, and going over your role.
3. Go prepared!
Poor listening skills are often cited as an annoying trait of managers – one-way communication is a motivation killer! To ensure that a 121 is productive and works well for you, it is vital that you plan what you are going to say before the meeting.
Make a list of your talking points and edit it as the meeting is going on, so if a thought pops up you won’t miss it. Keeping a list helps to keep track of the conversation, so if you get interrupted you can bring the topic back up.
4. If all else fails…
So, you’ve tried to change your manager, but despite your best efforts, nothing happened. In this case, if you want to stay where you are, you have no choice but to try and change yourself…
David McClelland, a writer on motivation, identified three major drivers in life: affiliation, power and achievement. By watching and mirroring your manager's primary motivator you will start to understand them better. If their driver is achievement, people issues will be a low priority but targets will be key; if the major motivation is affiliation, you need to think in people terms; and in the case of power, be very, careful!
If your boss is too difficult to manage, it may be time to talk to your recruiter. Contact a Michael Page specialist today.
You can always tap into your immediate circle of influence – by working on yourself. David McClelland, a writer on motivation, identified three major drivers in life: achievement, affiliation and power. By watching and mirroring your manager's primary motivator, you will start to understand them better and this will make it much easier to anticipate reactions and meet their expectations.
If their primary driver is achievement, people issues will always tend to be a low priority, so focus on talking about deliverables, deadlines and successes; if their major motivator is affiliation, present your arguments in terms of how people are impacted; and in the case of power being the driver, focus on building a relationship of trust and respect - so that your influencer boss will feel compelled to keep you in the loop.