Whether your manager is awesome, the second coming of the Pointy Haired Boss from Dilbert, or something in between, you’re going to have to manage them.
“Wait,” you ask. “They’re my manager. Aren’t they supposed to manage me?”
Yes, but as with most office relationships, this is very much a two-way street. In an ideal scenario, your manager provides guidance and helps your projects succeed. Dealing with your manager effectively not only helps with your personal goals (promotions, more project resources, etc.), but also makes team dynamics more efficient.
So as much as you might want to lock down away from everyone and work on your projects—you’ve got deadlines, after all—here are some handy tips for crafting a better bond with whomever’s overseeing your work:
Get Face Time
While it’s sometimes great to have everybody leave you alone, take care that you don’t fall off your manager’s radar. A regular get-together not only gives you the chance to air your concerns, but also ensure that you keep your manager up-to-date on your current projects—which may help keep you adequately resourced. Remember to come to each meeting with an agenda or list of bullet-points to discuss.
Know Your Boss’s Boss
As Bob Dylan once sang, we all gotta serve somebody. Your manager has goals to meet, too; if you’re aware of what those are, you can adjust your projects and workflow to ensure they’re met. Your manager will look good in front of his or her boss, which could come in useful around bonus time.
You know what’s better than bringing a pressing issue to your boss? Bringing a full-fledged solution. Your manager will not only view you as a problem-solver, but perhaps grant you more responsibilities in the future.
Your manager is a human being, complete with weaknesses and a predisposition toward certain ways of doing things. Before engaging with your manager on a regular basis, sit down and make a list of those weaknesses, strengths, and ways of working; evaluate how those interact with your own attributes. If you need to adjust your “style” in order to fit their needs, do so (within reason). That will help keep the relationship smooth and efficient.