Managing Managers

As a software developer i.e., programmer, one of the most challenging issues you face is related to managing your manager and his/her expectations. You may come across various complicated and confusing situations, which are unexpected and difficult to resolve and ultimately you become a victim of unnecessary stress we discussed in last chapter. Following examples may be few of them:

  • Your manager does not give you due respect and value.

  • One of your peers does not deliver still he is always in news and getting appreciation notes.

  • There has been some misunderstanding between you and your manager.

  • A cold war is running between you and your manager.

  • From last few years, your manager did not think about your promotion or salary revision.

  • You think your manager is not capable enough and it is difficult to convince him/her.

  • It does not matter what you deliver, still you have to get negative feedback.

  • Your manager does not like you because of XYZ reasons.

Just think what is going on between you and your manager, I am sure you will be able to add your issue in the above list. That's the first and most important task to identify why there is an issue. It could be X... Y... or Z....

Managers are always correct....

Yes, if you are disagreeing with me then its obvious why you are in trouble. Try to recall when you were a kid, and your parents always stopped you from doing X...Y...or ...Z activities and they used to emphasize on certain things, which you never liked in your childhood. But now will definitely say, Alas! it would have been so good for us if we would have done the way parents instructed. Now if you are inline with me then it means you found out half of the solution of your problems.

So, crux of the discussion is the given attention what your manager is asking for and do the way he suggested. Your ultimate goal should be to make your manager happy and few of the points can help you in achieving this:

  • Try to give fast deliveries, it does not matter if you put your effort during weekend.

  • Reduce your complaints about things around you.

  • Reduce your demands in terms of salary revisions or promotions.

  • Do not lose a chance to present your work to your manager, does not matter its small or big but your manager should be aware of what you do.

  • Be neutral as much as possible, do not criticize any other peer in front of the manager.

  • Take things positive done or presented by your manager, as I said they are always right.

  • You will have to observe why your manager likes any particular resource and try to inline with that resource.

  • Never try to think your manager is inferior to you, that may be the case but it's not allowed to think like that, otherwise by doing so you can create problem for yourself.

Discuss with manager

Managers always need great resources

Great, so you have adopted all the points mentioned above, now you will say I will give fast and clean deliveries by putting my honest efforts during weekends and holidays, still I should not demand for salary hikes or promotion, why????

My answer is yes, you do it and things will come automatically, just have patience. You will hardly need to demand for anything once you make your manager realize that you are one of the brightest resources and you are most important for the project. Once you achieve this, your manager would never like to lose you, and now it's your time to enjoy your work and working environment.

If still you find things are not moving as per expectation, then you have to initiate a healthy discussion with your manager and ask for the reasons why you are not getting hikes, and promotions. It could be some other HR-related issues or project budget, etc. You can ask for improvement areas if needed and set expectations accordingly, but again, your cycle will start from the above-mentioned activities.

If you have some misunderstandings with your manager then call for a meeting with the manager and accept the mistakes you have done if any and clarify the things which went wrong and give an assurance to take care of such incidents in future.

Many things depend on situation and you need to be smart enough to understand the situation and act accordingly. All the very best.