It is important to build positive relationship with your manager so that you can advance professionally and achieve your career goals as well as make a positive contribution to the team and your organizations. According to statistics, 70% of employees decide whether to stay in their roles or move on based on their relationship with the immediate managers. In the book, Multipliers, the authors, Liz Wiseman and McKeown define two categories of managers by exploring why some leaders (“Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others (“Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results.
The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the "diminishers" of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers
If your boss is Diminisher, move on. If you like your company and your job, try to stay within the same company and move to a different group or a different manager, but do not stay with a Diminisher. It is hard to stay motivated with someone who wants you to follow directions and does not allow you to implement your skills and fulfill your aspirations. You can invest time and effort in educating this person, but this may not be the most effective use of your time, especially early on in your career. If your manager is a Multiplier, invest time in building close professional relationship. and trust with them and receive mentorship and support from them.
How to do it? Below are 5 easy steps:
1. Help your manager to know you. In our previous tips we covered an "elevator pitch": a brief statement about yourself, who you are and what you bring to the table as a professional. Are you great in data analysis and manipulate Excel pivot tables with ease? Are you a pro in making PowerPoint or Keynote presentations? Are you great in Spanish? Maybe you are a natural facilitator? Share you talents.
2. Discuss your professional aspirations with your manager. Where you want to be in 1 year? 3 years? at the topi of your professional career? Do you want to become a subject matter expert, no one can complete with? Do you want to become a brilliant strategist leading organizations? Do you want to start a new company which will live through generations? Share your aspirations and help your manager understand how they can support you in building relevant skills and gaining experience you will be able to apply to these areas.
3. Establish culture of a continuous feedback. An important point is that you own this relationship, not your manager. Rather than expecting your manager to give your instructions or answer your specific questions, support them in building the culture that you would like to work in. Provide your feedback and ask for feedback continuously. Accept this feedback with gratitude and adjust what you do and how you do it, based on that. Ensure that instead of annual performance review, you have ongoing feedback conversations with your manager and stakeholders.
4. Volunteer. If your manager needs your help or is asking for support, volunteer. Your manager has a significant responsibility and it is in your power to help. Be generous, but not because you want to score higher with your manager but because you want your manager, your group, your customers and stakeholders to be successful. However, if you do not have time or do not have skills to provide support, do not volunteer. or suggest to stay in support role. It is most important to meet your commitments.
5. Align. Be a true team player. Alignment is most important. In so many instances we observe star players who move in their own direction. These are Diminishers. Being a solo star does not move the team forward. Align with your manager and your team in moving forward, otherwise you will become a single component optimizing against the team, not in support of it. Talk to your manager whether you are directionally aligned and if not, spend time to listen and to understand.
We hope that these principles will help you establish productive professional relationship with your manager who will multiply your talents and support you in achieving your aspiration.