Your Destiny Is In Your Own Hands!
A number of years ago I worked with a manager who was only interested in themselves and their own achievements. That meant they wanted things for me, only to show themselves in a good light.
I was very frustrated and unhappy with my working situation and started to really hate working for the company and especially my manager. The job was still the same; I was a high achieving sales manager, in the same company, with the same responsibility for a great team of 12 people spread far and wide throughout the country, who were consistently well above target and delighting the customers.
Only One Thing Had Changed
My manager! And that, in turn, had changed my environment.
I had two options to consider; either to stay and find a way to work more effectively with my manager, or to find a new job. I have never been a quitter, so I had to find a way to work with my manager.
I was due to have a 1:1 meeting with my manager one Monday, so the weekend before; I sat down in my dining room with an A4 piece of paper and a pen. On one side of the paper I wrote down the heading ‘Pros’ and on the other side, ‘Cons’. The most difficult part for me was to clear my mind of the emotions I felt towards this manager, as I wrote down all the pros and cons about this person and working with them.
As I’m sure you can imagine, if you have ever been in this situation, I had a very long list of Cons and a very small list of Pros. But when I analysed both lists, I realised the clashes that arose were very much aligned with clashes in our values. This was vital information for me to be able to rationalise how I could work with my manager.
So as I planned out my strategy for a better working relationship, I thought about what motivated my manager, what few values we had in common and what little I liked about them. I used all of these Pro points to plan out our meeting and work on going forward. The result? To ‘Manage My Manager’!
On That Monday…
I believe my manager expected to do battle with me on a few areas in which we had previously clashed. Instead, I came armed with positive ideas for moving forward. As we talked, I hit their buttons and they left the meeting seeing a different side to me and commenting on my great work.
I Had Not Changed Any Of My Values
…my principles or my position on the beliefs that had caused us to clash previously. All I had changed was my attitude and how I was communicating with my manager. Over the following months my manager commented on how well my team and I were doing – nothing had changed; we were still well ahead of our targets and delighting the customers. It was my manager’s interpretation and attitude that had changed.
My work and social life (as they always affect each other) became easier, and although my thoughts on my manager had not changed, my attitude and actions had. This allowed me the space and time to stay on top of my game until the right offer came my way…and it did.
Four Months Later…
I had the opportunity to move to another position within the same company, which I loved working for again, and I took it. My manager asked me to stay as we worked so well together and said they would help even more with my development. This really meant that they would take whatever glory would come from my hard work as they had been obstructive in a number of development opportunities that had come my way previously. I thanked them for everything they had taught me and I meant every word of it. Believe me, I learned plenty under that dreadful manager; how not to manage people was just one thing and of course, how to Manage Your Manager, was another!
I still use the same tactics when dealing with people whose values clash with my own and whom I still have a need to work or socialise with. So if you are in a similar situation, or become so in the future, feel free to adopt the above tactics to help you move forward!
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