Eventually, as you change jobs, you’re going to run into a manager who doesn’t know how to manage and who seems to drain your life force every time you hear from him, her. Managing people cannot be learned from a book, nor a conference. You are either good at it and can understand what motivates people or you’re just a company stooge interested only in your own political standing.
There are things that you can do insulate yourself from a bad manager. Here are my suggestions..
1ne: Document everything. Print hard copies of all email exchanges and always follow up 1:1 conversations with an email to ensure you “heard” what was being said.
2wo: Do not go to HR. HR works for the company not you and you can bet as soon as you leave their office they will be on the phone with your boss.
3hree: Be careful about talking about your boss to colleagues who you think are your friends. The sad truth is that many of these so called “friends” will drop you like a bad habit when they have to back you up at the risk of their own jobs.
4our: Get the hell out. It takes courage to take that first step and look for another job, but working for a bad manager is just not worth the stress.
5ive: When interviewing for a new job ask people about what time they get in and leave. If a lot of people say they often work 10 hour days this is a waning sign that they are not being managed well. Also look at the desks of employees. If they look messy and unorganized it could be a sign that priorities change too often.
You should be working for someone who understands how to motivate YOU and can help you grow as an employee. They should also understand that you work to live not live to work. One of the best manager’s I ever had once told me never to answer or send email after office hours unless it was an emergency. He also allowed us to take Friday’s off without charging us a vacation day when we were working very hard.
Life is too damn short to work for an ass so take that first step to implement a positive change.