Managers prefer solutions to problems
Managing your meeting schedules with your manager is really important. If you think that meetings are too frequent and unproductive, then make sure you raise the issue and provide a solution. Managers prefer solutions to problems and are generally more willing to listen and act if you appear to have thought through options. Whatever you do, always try to avoid inundating your manager with too much paperwork and detailed information. Less is more when trying to manage your manager. This most certainly helps you to manage your manager. Most managers keep meetings to a minimum and prefer “keep in touch” (Kit) meetings where you have the opportunity to share ideas and concerns. Managers should use these meetings to ask employees whether there is anything that they do that causes routine difficulties. Such openness encourages opportunity for dialogue on just how working practices can be improved. It also demonstrates mutual respect. This is ideal when attempting to manage your manager. The key is to be clear what you want to achieve and be well-prepared for your meetings. Remember, managers prefer solutions to problems.
Managing your manager is not easy but avoiding certain pitfalls certainly helps. For example, it is never a good idea to over promise and under deliver just to create a short-term gain. Managers tend to remember frequent failures, and, in these situations, it is difficult to manage your manager simply because of the lack of credibility that repeated failure generates. Achieving success when trying to manage your manager is about developing a relationship based on mutual trust, openness, and a genuine ability to find solutions. Easier said than done but there is no doubt that managers can only be managed if they are willing to accept that they rarely have a monopoly on wisdom. In short, they need to be active participants in a process that is mutually beneficial.
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