How to deal with a difficult manager

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Are you thinking about quitting your job because of your dreadful boss?

The worst managers can't trust professionals, have poor communication and listening skills, put extreme demands on their employees, don't respect their staff and are generally intimidating. 

More often than not it's a bad manager that makes you want to quit work, not the company or their job. So how do you deal with a difficult manager?

Learn how to manage your manager

If the relationship between you and your manager is difficult, then you must begin to manage it. When you take the time to grow a productive working relationship by understanding your manager's strengths and weaknesses, priorities and work style, you will be on your way to having a more enjoyable time at work. 

Start by scheduling a meeting with your boss, letting them know why you are there and what you want to achieve. Explain the projects you have, together with a timeline for each and ask your manager to help you prioritise what you have to do.

If you can find a common ground and are left with a clear idea of what you are working towards and how you should be reporting to your manager, your productivity and your manager's expectations should improve.

Plan your meetings

If you can find a common ground and are left with a clear idea of what you are working towards and how you should be reporting to your manager, your productivity and your manager's expectations should improve.

It's important that you plan what you would like to talk about in your meetings. Write down what you want to cover and send a copy to your manager so there are no surprises. This will also show you have considered the meeting and points you wish to discuss.

Next steps

If, despite your best efforts, your situation with your manager doesn't get better it can often be easier to look for another position rather than changing yourself to suit your boss. Sometimes sticking it out can damage your self confidence so if you've reached the end and are ready to move, a Robert Walters consultant will talk through your next career move with you.

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For more career advice please contact:

Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
nic.sephton.poultney@robertwalters.com
+27 (0) 11 881 2414

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