The Manager Relationship

This is a guest post by Anne Browning MCCP, CADC.  Anne is a Master Certified Life Coach and Counselor specializing in relationships. You can find and follow her on her Anne Browning Coaching and Consulting website.

Do you have a manager who is critical? Demanding? Passive/Aggressive? Or do you have a manager that hovers, always checking on what you do, where you go, fussing over each and every detail? Perhaps you have a manager who fears your advancement, somehow under the delusion that if you do well she/he will look bad?

The Manager Relationship
Image courtesy of  Abmro /
What type of manager do you have? You may be very fortunate and are working for an organization with well-trained managers who want to develop you and assist you in being promoted. Whatever management system you are working under there is one key rule that it is your job to know, you and you alone are responsible for relating to and with your supervisor.
The Micro of the Macro Rule (huh?)
One reason I love being a relationship coach is that the world runs on relationships. If you have bad relationships you will typically have a less than rewarding life. Good relationships? Your life probably is enjoyable 80% of the time.  Relationships follow the micro of the macro rule. This rule states that what happens in one area of your life will generally happens in all areas of your life. For example, if your desk is disorganized your car and closets and cabinets are probably disorganized and possibly your career is not tidy and focused.
How does this relate to managers? Here is a small exercise with which to begin:
  1. Identify what it is that is missing a) in your manager (support, praise) b) upsetting you 
  2. Notice where else you are experiencing this same upset or lack (who else does not support you, where else do you not get acknowledged, who else is critical) 
  3. Now notice and write down where in your life you are critical or unsupportive, (or whatever is happening in other parts of your life with other people) of yourself. For example where and when do you not acknowledge how hard you are working or what a good job you are doing, where and when do you criticize yourself, demean yourself, not show up for yourself. Take time and write down how you mismanage you. 
  4. Begin with that which you have full control over, yourself. Strategize how you will begin to remanage yourself. Notice as you begin to treat yourself differently others will begin to follow suit.
I have discovered that human beings are very often unaware of how they treat themselves. The above exercise is an excellent place to begin to treat yourself, manage yourself, care for yourself as the person of worth that you are.

Question:  What helps you relate to your manager?

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