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Advice

Bad Supervision: How to Manage your Manager

How do you deal with bad management?
— Anndrea M.

I’ve spoken about bad management before but let’s take a deeper dive. In my previous experience, I ultimately chose to leave my job and although there was (a lot )more that went into it, the poor relationship with my manager solidified my decision and I spoke openly about that during my exit interview. 

Let me clear here; you’re not responsible for managing your manager. 

But you deserve comfort and peace in your job, you deserve effective management and coaching and if you’re feeling like you’re not getting that, you have every right to demand it.

1. Identify the issue (s)

It’s important to pinpoint and articulate exactly where the friction is and collect examples. Are they not giving actionable/useful feedback? Do you feel like your suggestions aren’t being valued? Does your manager give unclear instructions? Are they inefficient with their time and yours? If you have trouble pinpointing your management’s isue, pick out specific examples of interactions that left you dissatisfied and articulate what the issue was in that particular instance. 

2. Document those issues 

(and your reponses) If you’ve received feedback, followed it, or just made moves on your own to solve an issue and nothing has improved--just be sure to record your efforts. 

3. Bring it to the table

Come to your manager with your issues. I suggest doing your best to frame the conversation constructively. “I’m looking forward to learning from you and growing here. There’s some things I’d love for you, as my manager and mentor, to provide in order for me to be successful and contribute to the company/team in a meaningful way. “ and ask for an in person meeting. Feel free to record that conversation. 

*If you're in any sort of danger, ie your manager has threatened you or been verbally abusive, skip to step four and feel free to be direct about it. 

4. Escalate it:

If you meet with your manager and nothing changes, take your records of incidents and conversations to higher supervision. Again, frame it positively but be clear that there is an issue: “I’m looking forward to continuing my contributions to the company and I’d love some mediation/assistance in improving my relationship with my manager. However, I have some concerns. I have prepared some specific incidents and accounts I’d like to review with you/receive guidance on. I’d appreciate your discretion and would prefer to meet privately first before we schedule mediation.”

Afraid of being let go? I get it.

Many of us don’t speak up because we’re scared of being severely reprimanded/we’re worried a company will take management’s side over ours. 

Best practices: 

  1. Be clear that you have everything documented. Not in a threatening or incriminating way but in a solutions-oriented way
  2. Keep track of all your efforts and meetings
  3. Notify HR or higher management if you’re being treated unfairly or abused in your workspace

Ultimately, you can’t make these moves until you’re ready but ask yourself

what’s more important; staying unhappy just to stay employed, or taking a chance to improve your environment for the job deserve?

Choose you, Boo!

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