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Six Ways to Improve Interactions with Your Manager

Six Ways to Improve Interactions with Your Manager

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By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Career Tips

Managers come in a wide variety of personalities. Bad managers make you and your coworkers miserable and 75% more likely to leave your job, according to a Gallup poll.

But good managers encourage you to grow on the job. These managers are willing to hear your thoughts, prefer honest communication and push you to excel.

It can be a struggle sometimes to be the type of employee your manager wants to you to be. But it’s not impossible either, with some thought and work.

#1: Understand What Drives Your Manager

Be aware that your behavior and work performance are a direct reflection on your manager. Take the time to understand your manager’s motivations and how those motivations affect that person’s daily performance.

#2: Ask Your Manager’s Communication Preferences

Managers typically have multiple responsibilities, so their time is limited. If you don’t know already, ask your manager what his or her preferred communication method is, such as phone calls, direct messages, emails, texts or face-to-face chats. Also, save your boss some time by asking your coworkers the basic questions, such as where office supplies are kept.

#3: If There Are Problems, Bring Solutions

Problems inevitably crop up in the workplace and have to be brought to your manager’s notice at times. If you must tell your boss about a problem, think of a couple of solutions before you enter his or her office.

#4: Avoid Blindsiding Your Boss

Managers can’t be everywhere at once. If a serious workplace issue comes up such as harassment or theft, let your manager know promptly so you don’t blindside him or her at the last minute.

#5 Be Proactive by Anticipating What Your Manager Wants

Over time, you’ll get to know your boss very well. This knowledge will come in handy in situations when you can get work done ahead of time.

In a previous job, for example, I had a manager ask me to do a research project involving local markets for a certain product. I thought that he would probably ask for a list of local vendors as well, so I created one even though he hadn’t specifically asked for the list.

When I gave him my research, he reviewed it and said, “Good. Now get me a list of local vendors.” I opened the file envelope so he could see the list, smiled innocently and replied, “Oh……you mean THIS list?” I went back to my cubicle, grinning all the way.

#6: Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up, but Substantiate Your Opinions

Some managers can be intimidating to talk to and it’s hard for shy or introverted people to express their opinions in the workplace. But if you have a good idea that could substantially improve a product or service, take the time to research it before going to your manager. Think of all possible doubts that others could have about your idea and come up with workable, cost-effective solutions.

The right kind of manager creates a good environment in the workplace and makes going to your job every day a more pleasant experience. If you’re lucky enough to have a good manager, that is the key to workplace contentment for both of you.