How do I improve my relationship with my manager?

Strengthening your relationship and communication with your manager is important to your career development. Your manager can be your biggest champion, mentor, and coach.

Relationships are built over time and are often rooted in common ground (i.e., common interests, values, experiences, etc.). If you and your manager do not always see eye to eye, consider why you feel this way. Do they have different values? Different priorities? Different preferences? Different information?

Are your feelings about your relationship with your manager rooted in facts or assumptions? How well do you know your manager in the first place? How can you test your assumptions of the alignment in your relationship?

Get to know your manager on a professional level.

Ask yourself these 5 questions:

  • What about your manager’s behavior makes you feel like you are not aligned or your relationship could be improved?

  • What assumptions are you making about their feelings towards you?

  • How can you test your assumptions about your manager?

  • What do you appreciate about your manager and what can you learn from your manager?

  • What can you do to make your relationship stronger? Sometimes taking the time to get to know someone can help strengthen relationships.