HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MANAGERS
Every one should know how to manage their managers if they want to be able to make the best possible use of their own time. Learn to do this discretely so that your seniors do not feel as though they are being undermined or manipulated.
Building a Relationship
The first thing you need to know is exactly what your manager expects of you. Do you have the sort of manager who delegates a task to you and then gives you the freedom to get on with it, or are you expected to report back everyday and wait around until they are free to hear you?
Discuss this matter tactfully with your manager earlier on. That way you can tailor the way you work to fit in with your boss’s expectations.
If you decide you would like more autonomy, persuade your seniors to trust you by establishing a strong relationship with them. When you have a good relationship with your manager, you can be less formal, and communication becomes easier, more direct, and therefore more efficient.
In any relationship with your seniors, there is an implicit assumption that they are busier than you are, and that the claims on their time are more pressing than the claims on yours.
When you have something to discuss, make your communication brief, get to the point quickly, and try to anticipate any queries that your seniors may raise. Keep your conversations high on factual content and low on your personal opinions.
Getting Your Own Way
As you build up a personal relationship with your manager, you will learn what it takes to get your own way – and thus work more efficiently and with a greater amount of satisfaction. Of course, the priorities of your manager will alter all the time (as will your own), and it is your job to keep abreast of those changes and adapt sensitively to fluctuating demands.
Remember that there is little to be gained in being abrasive towards your seniors. This will simply irritate them, making them feel defensive, less willing to listen to you, and unsympathetic to your viewpoint. Try to be aware of the pressures that your manager is under, and be sympathetic.
|Do arrive at meetings well prepared and with any relevant documentation.||Don’t volunteer your opinions unless they are requested or you feel they are important or relevant.|
|Do take relevant notes, and give your boss a copy.||Don’t present any problems without offering some viable solutions to them.|
|Do work out whether your manager prefers written or spoken information, and supply it in that way.||Don’t mistake your boss’s occasional thoughtless action for maliciousness.|
|Do gather together queries to avoid constantly interrupting your manager.||Don’t be late for meetings with your manager.|
Ask about your boss’s home life – it will help to build up a relationship.
Be aware of your boss’s working patterns, and try to adapt to them.
Remember that time is perfectly democratic. Nobody has more or less of it than you do.