Sustaining a Strong Relationship With Your Manager

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  • 0:00 Strong Work Ethic
  • 1:09 Improve Listening…
  • 2:46 Learn New Skills
  • 3:11 Express Opinions Appropriately
  • 4:12 Be Professional
  • 5:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lawrence Bertorelli

Human Resource Professional

Sustaining a strong relationship with your manager takes effort and time, much like any other relationship. This lesson outlines a few ways to accomplish this objective.

Strong Work Ethic

If your managers see your work is good and consistent, and you demonstrate self-discipline, which is the ability to control your feelings and overcome weaknesses, they may view you as someone they can trust. So how do you demonstrate self-discipline? Let's explore a few of the ways:

  1. Take steps to show your manager how you are committed to your role.
  2. Be reliable with attendance and performance.
  3. When approaching your manager with obstacles, offer possible solutions so you demonstrate your ability to solve problems.
  4. Demonstrate how you can work as part of a team effectively. Managers appreciate employees who can effectively perform their jobs with minimal supervision.

Part of having a strong work ethic is taking responsibility for your performance, which includes your mistakes. People make mistakes. If this happens, let your manager know as soon as possible, preferably with a solution, and learn from the mistake. Experience has shown the occasional error can be forgiven provided the manager hears it directly from you and such occurrences are minor and infrequent.

Improve Listening Skills & Flexibility

A key component of effective communication is listening. This demonstrates to your manager you understand what they are saying and gives you the ability to respond appropriately. Listening is not just hearing what someone else is saying, but understanding the message as well. Take the time to listen.

Another key component is flexibility. In the fast-paced and constantly evolving workplace, knowing that employees can move from one assignment to another and complete tasks in a timely manner is important to a manager. You can demonstrate flexibility by maneuvering between assignments and keeping them on schedule, or adjusting your schedule, with manager approval, to accomplish the task; for example, staying later or coming in early.

Tasks and non-routine assignments will happen with short deadlines, and your ability to accomplish your regular work plus the extra work will demonstrate your flexibility. Your reaction to additional work is as important as your ability to complete the work. Think about when you have asked friends for a favor. Did they respond positively to your request or did they roll their eyes and breathe out heavily, as if to show frustration? Now, if you were the manager and you asked an employee to take on additional work, how would you want them to respond?

Being organized is a key aspect of having good time management skills. By managing your time well and keeping your work area organized, managers may view you as someone who is dependable. Find the time management system that works for you, whether it is a journal for notes, electronic device to keep a calendar, etc. Time management also includes keeping your manager informed of obstacles and keeping on track with their priorities.

Learn New Skills

Taking on new assignments can be a great way for you to learn new skills and gain valuable experience. As a strong relationship with your manager develops, this could morph into projects or assignments that give you more experience and possibly more exposure within the organization. This could also build into a work relationship where the manager seeks your input on assignments or certain decisions. This is a positive step and one that could tie into career development.

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