Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Glenford Smith | Managing your manager’s expectations

Published:Wednesday | January 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Q:My new superior, since taking up office, has been majoring in minors. As my position is in a supportive role, I'm constantly invited to meetings to address petty issues, as opposed to dealing with the workload.

Also, I have to inform her every time I leave my desk. I expressed my view on the matter and advised her I will only inform her when I am expected to be away for a prolonged period.

There are many other micromanagement techniques that she exerts on a daily basis. Two include watching the clock to see when I come in or leave, or how long I entertain a customer on the telephone.

How do I deal with such an employer?

- Annoyed Employee

A: Try as I might, I can't seem to find anything wrong with what your manager is doing or what she expects of you. She seems to be doing the normal things you would expect of a good manager. Here's what I mean.

That you are invited to these meetings should be a sign of confidence in you. The duties are not opposed to the work you have to do, and should not be regarded as petty issues, as you seem to think. Remember, you serve as supportive staff, so however you can provide help, you should be happy to do so.

When providing support, this should not be interpreted as taking you from the workload. If the manager feels your input is needed in the meeting, it should be a pleasure to drop what you are doing and give it. You should seek to offer support in as friendly a way as you can.

I seem to detect an undertone of annoyance in your letter, which leaves me wondering. This is because giving your boss the heads-up when you are leaving your work area seems to be par for the course.

Unless you are coming in later, and leaving early, then one is hard to find much, if anything, wrong with what the manager is doing. And telling your boss when you're expected out for a long time just isn't going to cut it. That sounds more like you are the manager and she is the employee.

In the scheme of things, you should see yourself as an employee of the organisation. Your manager is there to see to it that the organisation's agenda is carried out. You are not doing your own work, but the organisation's.


Revamp attitude


I think you can revamp your attitude where this manager is concerned. You may find her attitude to you will change as well. Because you were used to the old manager's way of doing things, this may have got in the way. You are used to doing things a certain way. But maybe the new manager has a different way of getting things done.

If this is the case, give her way a fair chance. See yourself as an enabler; look for ways you can help her succeed. It would seem she is not majoring in minors, but is putting the emphasis where it ought to be. It would seem you need to make some minor adjustment.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'