Can You Actually Help Your Manager Be a Better Manager?

On the tube home I overheard two people discussing who had the best boss. As I muted my music and folded the Evening Standard on my lap, I heard them identify the trials and tribulations of being managed; from the trivial “he stinks of coffee”, to “she never listens”, “he didn’t ask about that project”, and finally; “she does try, but I don’t think she knows how to manage”. This last point struck a chord – maybe she doesn’t know how to manage, or maybe it’s just that she doesn’t know how to manage you

“…you have an important role to play in helping managers become the ‘good’ manager that you need.”

You might think you’ve either got a good manager or you haven’t. But I’d argue that as employees, you have an important role to play in helping managers become the ‘good’ manager that you need.

If the saying; ‘people don’t leave organisations, they leave their managers’ is true, then it is worth considering how, as employees, we can influence how we are managed. Every manager is different, but so is every employee that they manage. We all have different expectations from our managers and we must help them understand what these are, and the majority of the time they will be willing to listen (there will be those that aren’t, we can only apologise).

You’re probably thinking “but you just don’t know how difficult my manager is” but go with us on this. Most managers really do want to improve, even if it doesn’t seem that way. Try to have an open conversation with them, somewhere off-site, that highlights some of the positives but also alerts them to some things that would help your working relationship improve. iw