Career guide

The art of managing your boss in 5 lessons

1 Take your share of responsibility

Who’s to blame if an employee doesn’t like the way they’re managed? On this point, Hélène Jacob willingly challenges some received ideas. “The employee is responsible for 50% of the content of the relationship with his superior », Says the author of the guide Who is the chef? Or how to manage your boss. This former manager turned trainer reminds us that we should not wait for your boss to decide everything. “Out of habit, laziness or fear, we often let the N + 1 rule everything. It’s a little too easy to complain afterwards. However, it is not forbidden to take some initiatives to improve the way you operate. The superior should not alone determine how the relationship works. “

“A lot of N + 1 are bad at managing. However, it is not a question of throwing them this raw truth.”

2 tell him what we want

“Many N + 1 know poorly about managing,” confirms Sophie Letourneau, consultant at Coaching Time. However, it is not a matter of telling them this raw truth, but rather of helping him by telling him what is expected of him. Delicate? For this coach, all you have to do is put some forms into it. ” The way we exchange is sometimes more important than the content and this is often where things can get out of hand, continues this specialist in non-violent communication. To avoid it, we adopt the OSBD method (observation, feeling, need, request, note). That is to say, we formulate a precise observation with the feelings it arouses, and then we express a need and a concrete request for what we want. “Sometimes, the manager may not be so bad but he just has a different way of working, nuance Yves Maire du Poset, consultant and author of the guide All the keys to good manners in business. But nothing prevents telling him that we are not used to working like this and offering something else to try during a defined period, for example, so that he can get an idea. “

3 Knowing how to say no

However, not all managers have the same ability to listen. “In the sessions devoted to management, we talk a lot about the ability to say no,” adds Sophie Letourneau. Even when we are managed, you have to know how to lay a framework very precisely. The employee ignores it, but he does not have to accept everything. ”Mathieu Maurice suggests making the difference between what is part of an employee’s mission and everything that is excessive or out of context and that can be refused. “The person concerned must ask himself what is not negotiable for him and what limits he wishes to define”, observes the director of development of Cepig (Center for individual and group psychology studies). Without showing a total lack of flexibility, he can also make a “counter-offer”. “We can constructively refuse and specify that, in order to provide a correct job, we would need such and such a means or such a reinforcement. “

4 Getting to know him

But the employee can also increase his chances of success by showing a little empathy and curiosity. “Middle managers are also subject to pressures that their subordinates cannot always imagine,” recalls Hélène Jacob. It is not forbidden to question his N + 1 on the objectives of the company and his expectations. This curiosity – rare – can help calm the relationship and play on the right levers. “Without manipulating him, you can at least adapt to his language. Faced with a passive manager, we can guide him to make him make decisions more quickly, or calm an aggressive manager by remaining factual and oscillating between astonishment and flattery when he gets angry. If he is not unwilling, the manager will then be more open to suggestions that you can submit to him. “

5 Know how to say thank you

Some will accuse you of spinning. But it’s much more subtle than that in reality. “We all need to know that our work is useful, that it is well done,” says Aymeric Bouthéon, director of H Conseil. The leaders, like the others, naturally ask for confirmation, for recognition. »As soon as the manager makes an effort in your direction, why not say thank you? “Lack of recognition is not just for subordinates … And saying thank you helps strengthen many relationships.” », Continues the author of the book 30 good practices to coach his team. In other words, it’s another way of telling your manager what to do next. By managing it gently.

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