Ways to Manage Any Sort of Manager

While you may not be able to change your manager, you can certainly modify how you interact with him or her.

Consider the following common management styles. Understanding these 3 styles may help you find a way to work with them.

Demanding

Everyone working in the business world has a good chance of working for a manager that is demanding and unrealistic in their expectations, as sure as there’s such a thing as happy hour. There are steps you can follow that may help you cope. Keep these in mind:

Maintain your composure.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and flustered when you’re given a project with an unrealistic time line for completion. You’ll accomplish more and impress management with your ability to work effectively when under pressure.

Approach the task incrementally.

A step-by-step process will help you examine and prioritize what needs to be done and expedite completion in a timely fashion.

Create boundaries.

No matter the circumstances, it is imperative you set boundaries to protect yourself from burn out. You can’t let an impossible project take over your life.

Analytics-driven

Numbers goals can be stressful.  When every result of your efforts depends on a statistical analysis of the outcome, there are methods to manage the madness:

Work with your manager.

Specifically define what criteria success will be measured by at the onset of each project.  Once you’re clear on the metrics of success, be prepared to provide an update at all times.

Have details at your finger tips.

An analytics-driven manager will want details at the drop of a hat, it’s just in their nature.  As such, be ready to share the latest figures whenever you meet with them.  Even when the meeting isn’t about your project, you may be confronted with a question, and you never want to be caught off guard.

If not data, highlight accomplishments.

If you are not statistically driven, it’s acceptable to outline other successes you and your team have achieved related to your project, however, your manager will undoubtedly attempt to derive statistical satisfaction from what you provide.

Coaching

Many managers enjoy the function of coach and mentor.  Consider yourself lucky if you have one of those.  Here are some ways to optimize the opportunity.

Get feedback on a regularly scheduled basis.

Whether it’s quarterly or weekly, commit time to review progress and performance to ensure you’re still on track.  It’s also a great opportunity for your manager to give you helpful suggestions should there be any available tweaks to your task.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

A mentoring manager is a tremendous resource for knowledge involving your project, however they can also offer invaluable guidance regarding your career path where it relates to the specific company you’re working for.  They can also provide insight on unforeseen obstacles common to your job, company, or career path.

A helpful manager can be a great addition to your network.

A manager invested in your success is often someone you’ll build a long-term relationship with.  They can be a valuable resource or reference in the future, at the very least someone you can readily solicit for advice.

How to Survive a Bad Boss

During the course of your career, it’s quite possible you will find yourself working for a “bad boss.” There are managers in the business world that have worked their way into a position to manage others, however may not have had the training to do so; perhaps their personalities do not predispose them to effective management of others.

There are all kinds of bad bosses: the slacker, the control freak, the diva, the narcissist.  They can make your professional career much more emotionally complex.

It’s important you keep things professional while you decide your long-term action plan.  For the short-term:

Evaluate where you stand.

Ask yourself: Exactly what makes your manager a bad boss? Are the issues fixable?  Apart from your present supervisor, is the job something you enjoy?  Do you have confidence in upper management?

Your responses will help you determine your path.

Recognize what you can’t control and let it go.

Acknowledge to yourself that you’re weathering a rough patch and commit to minimizing the impact to your day.  You must find emotional equilibrium to be able to stabilize things until you can take the next step.

Don’t wallow.  Take good care of yourself and practice techniques to keep your stress level under control.  Spend time with friends outside of work, preferably those you don’t work with, as a support network.  Gossiping with coworkers isn’t recommended, it may feed your feelings of frustration and make things worse in a number of ways.

Keep in mind you aren’t defined by your profession but rather by your abilities.  Think of this time as an opportunity to fine tune your crisis management skills.  Learning to maintain your cool in a difficult situation is something worth developing, so try to stay positive.

Communication is key

You will need to consider if this is a position worth preserving or should you just plan to move on.  Much depends on whether you are able to have valuable discourse with your manager to determine if any of the issues you are struggling with can be resolved.

A reasonable guideline would be to discover if the issue is work related as opposed to a personal issue.  Work related issues can be analyzed and a plan can be put in place to modify whatever process is involved.  A personal issue is quite often something that falls outside the scope of what can be handled at work.

Invite help

While your HR group exists to record and listen to concerns, it’s not typically their role to criticize a manager’s behavior unless it’s illegal. They can be someone to talk to and a place to solicit support when required, often able to provide resources and recommend actions to help you resolve your challenges.

Try asking HR to facilitate a 360 review, giving you and members of your team an opportunity to voice their concerns and provide feedback on your management team.  They are done anonymously and can be very helpful in rooting out potential management challenges.

Going over your manager’s head is unadvisable.  It will exacerbate a situation and make things difficult for all levels of management involved, perhaps even translating into some unforeseen unpleasant consequences for you at some point.

Move Along

Having a great boss is something everyone deserves to experience, and you should get your turn.  Your current challenges may just be providing the excuse you need to polish your resume and take the next step toward finding another position, and a better boss.

If you’ve decided to leave your job and you have another one lined up, congrats! If you don’t, consider contacting a professional staffing agency to find your next position. And if you’re in IT and looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Maxsys Solutions is one of the area’s exceptional IT Staffing Agencies.