Work better with your manager?
7 tips to get started yourself
Often you don’t have your manager to choose from. But you do have to deal with them on a daily basis. And yet the quality of the relationship with your manager largely determines your happiness at work. For many employees, a poor relationship with their manager is a reason not to be happy with their work or even to change jobs.
Fortunately, there is much you can do yourself to achieve optimal cooperation. We collected for you 7 tips for a successful relationship with your manager. With many tips on how to align your communication with your manager’s preferences. Useful if you are starting somewhere new, but also if the relationship with your manager could use a positive boost.
#1 Try to understand your manager
Everything starts with understanding the other person’s situation. Make sure you know what your manager’s goals, priorities and concerns are. If you know what stresses them and what makes them very happy, it is easier for you to respond. And if the goals are clear, you can adjust your efforts accordingly.
#2 Let it be known what you need
Conversely, it is important that your manager also knows what you need to perform well. Discuss what you need in terms of guidance and management (and what not) in order to achieve your personal goals. Make sure there are sufficient opportunities to discuss these things.
New job? Repairing a disturbed relationship can be very frustrating and consume a lot of energy. So it is better to think beforehand about what you need from your manager and adjust your communication accordingly from the start.
#3 Manage expectations
Managing expectations well, prevents disappointment. So indicate clearly what is and what is not within your reach. Ask for help if you cannot find a solution and communicate in time if a deadline is not going to be met. If you prove time and again that you live up to your outlined expectations, you are a reliable team member and that is, of course, very pleasant for your manager. By the way, being reliable also means learning to say No to requests you cannot fulfill. Do weigh carefully when to use your veto, because sometimes a rock-solid No is just not helpful to the relationship.
#4 Adjust your communication style
You may be familiar with the DISC model. The DISC model indicates your dominant communication style. But it is not only useful to know what your dominant communication style is, but also that of your manager. The model describes four basic types of communication styles, namely Dominant (red), Influential (yellow), Stable (green) and Conscientious (blue).
On discfactor.nl you can test your own style for free and easy. With the descriptions below, you can estimate your manager’s style. And then adjust your communication accordingly:
Managers with this style are assertive, direct and goal-oriented. They are often competitive and like to be in control of situations and decisions. They speak quickly and forcefully and tend to interrupt others. They are focused on action and results and have little patience for delay.
What do you do to a manager with a dominant communication style:
- Be direct and to-the-point in your communication.
- Come up with solutions rather than just naming problems.
- Be willing to make decisions and take responsibility for the outcome.
- Be assertive, but avoid taking a confrontational stance.
- Focus on facts and results rather than emotions.
Momagers with this style are sociable, enthusiastic and optimistic. They are often expressive and charming and enjoy persuading and influencing others. They have high energy levels and value being the center of attention. They can sometimes be impulsive and disorganized.
What do you do to a manager with an Influence communication style:
- Listen carefully to your manager and show interest in their ideas.
- Give compliments and recognition for accomplishments.
- Ask open-ended questions and encourage your manager to talk about their vision and goals.
- Create a positive and energetic atmosphere through humor and enthusiasm.
- Be flexible and willing to go along with changes.
Managers with this style are reliable, friendly and patient. They are often caring and empathetic and find it important to create harmony and stability. They are focused on maintaining relationships and want everyone to feel comfortable. They sometimes have difficulty making decisions and may feel overwhelmed by change.
What do you do to a manager with a Stable communication style:
- Build a trusting relationship by showing regular contact and personal interest.
- Be empathetic and sensitive to your manager’s feelings.
- Communicate in a calm and clear manner and avoid conflict.
- Offer support and assistance whenever possible and show appreciation for contributions.
- Be patient and willing to listen to the views of others.
Managers with this style are precise, analytical and detail-oriented. They tend to be perfectionists and value having and providing the right information. They have a strong sense of responsibility and are focused on quality and precision. They can sometimes be rigid and inflexible and tend to get lost in details.
What do you do to a manager with a Conscientious Communication Style:
- Be well-prepared and careful in your communications and presentations.
- Provide accurate and complete information.
- Keep appointments and deadlines and take responsibility for mistakes.
- Offer solutions and suggestions to solve problems and improve processes.
- Be calm and professional in your communication, even in stressful situations.
#5 Prepare well
Most managers are busy. So it’s nice if you can prepare meetings well based on your expertise and responsibility and get straight to the point. With a proactive attitude, proposals for action and solutions, you immediately demonstrate your expertise and commitment.
#6 Give feedback
A good relationship with your manager does not mean that you are the only one who has to bend along. It also means that you get to give feedback. Preferably constructive, of course. Speak up if you disagree with something and be honest about what your manager’s direction is doing to you. You also help your manager to be more successful by giving compliments, forwarding interesting information or tips on leads. Treat your manager to success and it will act as a lubricant in your relationship.
#7 Remain professional and positive
As in any relationship, it is important to remain respectful at all times. Don’t make it personal. Dealing with different leadership styles in the workplace can certainly be challenging, but it can also be an opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. It already helps if you tell yourself that everyone does their job with the intention of doing it the best they can, including your manager. Thus, by being open to the benefits of different styles and adapting where necessary and possible, you can actively contribute to a positive and effective work environment.
Is it not working between you despite all your efforts?
If not successful in changing the relationship with your manager, according to many coaching models, there are still 2 things you can do to protect your own well-being and work happiness, namely:
- Accept that the situation is the way it is and still find a way to deal with the frustrations it creates. Perhaps you can work on yourself (with outside help) and dive even deeper into the material that can help you deal with those around you who are difficult for you.
- Step out of the situation and look for a workplace with a manager who does fit your leadership needs and desires. Would you like to spar with an Exactpi recruitment consultant about this? Feel welcome to contact us!
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