How Do I Get My Manager to Listen to Me?
How do I get my manager to listen to me? Building a relationship with our managers is one of the most important things we need to do as safety professionals or as any professional in an organisation. If we don’t build a relationship with our managers, they don’t listen to us. They don’t act when we need them to act. They won’t make decisions to support our initiatives and they won’t implement the changes that we need to make to drive the organisation forward.
A change resistant or stubborn manager can just make work absolute hell. I recently met a delegate on an IOSH Managing Safely course and she said she had no problems managing her team, but that she really struggle to manage her manager. She couldn’t influence support. He won’t listen to her. She said they had all these problems and things that needed fixing, but she couldn’t get any support.
There’s so much we can say on this topic, and I guess it probably sounds familiar to many of you. Sounds familiar to me. And I would start with something very, very basic here.
Try Building a Relationship
You need to build a relationship and the best thing you can do to start that is to just do your job really well. Get things done on time. Do your job with the minimum amount of drama and the minimum amount of complaining.
If your work quality is sloppy, of there are mistakes and problems which need to be fixed, your manager will need to step in to get those things fixed. By failing to get work done on time, or done really well, you’re just making your manager’s job harder and adding more stress.
And every time you do that, you lose influence, you lose credibility. You break trust a little bit. You break the relationship. Also, most managers don’t like people who are negative. We don’t like complainers.
Be Positive NOT Negative
We like people who are positive. And if they see a problem, they are solution focused. So focus on the solution, not the problem, and choose the problems wisely. You can’t fix everything all at the same time. Choose one problem and bring that to your manager’s attention.
No more than that. Just fix one thing at a time. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Now that doesn’t work for all managers. Some managers, some managers, a micro managers.
Keep Them in the Loop
They like to be kept in the loop and kept up to date. They want to know every little thing. They want you to check in before you make decisions. That may be an absolute pain in the backside, but if that’s how they want you to act, then that’s what you need to do. So it’s not just about doing your job really well.
Do your job according to your manager’s expectations, figure out what those expectations are and work as best as you possibly can to meet those expectations. And if you do this for long enough, usually at least six months, maybe more than a year, you will gradually build a relationship with your manager. You’ll gain credibility, you’ll gain trust. They’ll see you as a problem.
Become someone who is reliable. And over time, you’ll gain influence, and they will listen to you.
Don’t go running to your manager with every little problem you have, you may lose credibility. Instead, build a report with them, and then when you bring a problem to your manager and you ask if he/she has got any suggestions, chances are, if you’re generally a positive person, they will listen to you.
Conclusion: How Do I Get My Manager to Listen to Me?
So, do you job really well, get things done on time, act according to a manager’s expectations, and don’t go running to them every time there’s a problem because you gradually lose credibility. Save your complaining for when it really matters.
Those are the tips for today, hopefully this answers the question: how do I get my manager to listen to me?
Enjoy the rest of your day. See you all.