‘Til Death do you part!

Morgan McKinley 09.06.2015

Well you may not be married to your manager but you will probably spend more time with him/her than you do with your partner, so getting on with them is key for both your career progression and general mental health.

In the work place, what you say and how you say it, is something that few of us really pause to reflect on. And yet this ultimately determines our personal brand and how we are seen by managers and work colleagues alike.

It’s a fact of life that some people are easier to get on with than others. We all know what it feels like when we gel with someone and unless you live alone in a cave  you will at some point have the experience of knowing what it’s like not to gel with someone.

While maintaining a professional and respectful tone at all times is key, we should also accept that life being what it is, it is entirely normal that over time you are likely to have some differences. Making sure that these differences don’t evolve into anything sinister requires both parties to contribute in a positive and meaningful way to the relationship. All you can do is strive to keep your side of the deal at ALL times.

So are a few tips in ensuring how you can maintain world peace:

Collaborate: Remember managers have feelings too and can range from the extremely competent to the extremely incompetent. Depending on where your manager is on the scale, it is important to develop a collaborative approach to working with them. No matter how good they are, they will not know everything and neither will they be so good as to not require support. They too will have frustrations and demands.

Communicate Properly: Choose your communication method carefully. With so many ways to communicate (emails, text, phone, face to face etc.), be savvy to the way your manager likes to interact with you. Sometimes dropping in on them can be very disruptive, so choose well when you’re engaging with them and consider the importance, urgency and complexity of the topic at hand.

Review Regulary: Dealing with issues quickly as they arise will ensure things don’t fester. Establish regular feedback to keep things on track. Don’t wait for your annual performance review to air your differences.

Manage Your Manager: Pre-empting and anticipating your manager’s reactions to situations will let you steer them in an appropriate way and avoid things falling between the cracks. It will also give you the opportunity to demonstrate your value to them.

If you do find yourself in times of trouble and are unfortunate enough to have a difficult relationship with your manager, before you pull the pin out of grenade be sure you can be honest with yourself and that you have done your utmost from your side to build a conducive relationship.

Also be cognisant of the fact that should you decide to move (which may well be justified), having a good reference from your current employer speaks volumes to your new employer.

If you are thinking of a change, please contact me below.


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