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Do you have a good relationship with your manager? Hopefully you do, but there are a lot of employees out there who either have a strained relationship with their manager or no relationship at all.

Having a bad relationship with your manager can affect your day to day work as well as your quality of life so it is important to make sure you work to strengthen it. Here are 3 things you can start doing to day to build a better relationship with your manager.

Open/clear communication
Empathy
Manager = Human

In any relationship communication is the key. Make sure you get one on one time with manager regularly. In your one on one discussions ask questions, ask for clarifications, let them know if you need help, etc.. Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell the truth and don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear. Be honest, open, and direct.

It is also important to practice empathy when it comes to your manager. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand where they are coming from. There is a real life example that I encountered that shows the importance of empathy for your manager. I knew someone who expressed their desire for flexible work, they wanted to work from home a few days a week. The manager immediately said absolutely not, you need to be in the office all the time.

Initially it seemed the manager was rude, uncaring, and controlling and the employee could have kept thinking those things were true, but instead she went to the manager and had an open conversation. She asked what the reason behind the no was. The manager then explained that the truth was he was scared of flexible work. He wasn’t sure how to manage people outside of the office, he thought he would lose control and that quality of work would suffer.

Because they had that open and honest discussion they were able to address the concerns and they set ground rules and guidelines that allowed the flexible work to be offered.

Going along with empathy, it is important to remember that your manager is a human just like you. Sometimes it is easy to forget that. They get stressed out, burned out, happy, excited, worried, etc…just like you.

Try implementing these practices and I’m sure your relationship with your manager will improve.

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