I have a difficult manager. How do I stay motivated?
IF you wish to remain in your position it is important to identify avenues to maintain morale and focus. Understand the way your manager works and what they require from you. Ensure you deliver on these requirements to reduce any risk of conflict or tension with your manager. Consider finding yourself a mentor elsewhere in the organisation who can provide the support and motivation that may be lacking from your manager. Keep an eye out for other opportunities that may arise in the organisation that would allow you to continue working there but under another manager.
Mid-career KELLIE RIGG General manager HR Solutions Randstad
A DIFFICULT manager can make kicking your sheets off in the morning and heading into work a real struggle. A large part of what makes a great leader is their ability to inspire so if your manager is not achieving this for you, it may be time to explore other avenues. Set clear, short and long-term objectives and be accountable for achieving them. Have something to work towards and celebrate small successes when you reach these milestones, which will help you stay engaged. Seek to create shared expectations between yourself and your manager so you’re well across what the company requires of you.
Experienced TIM ROCHE Practice leader, Right Management career transition
IN a 40-year work life, we will all face a difficult manager from time to time. It is typically when people do not interact in a manner that we expect that we fall into stress behaviours. As an employee, it’s important to understand early whether we think our manager’s behaviour towards us is bearable or if it’s time to start looking for a new role. The risks associated with staying too long in an irretrievable situation include damaging your brand through stress behaviours towards the manager, becoming so down about it that it starts to impact on home life and your self-esteem taking a solid knock.
The Expert MICHELLE BENTLEY General manager, Donington transition and outplacement
ANALYSE the situation and what motivates you. There is a difference between feeling down for a week or six months. Generally, we are motivated by either intrinsic forms (such as a sense of satisfaction, achieving goals, a sense of helping others) and extrinsic forms (such as acknowledgement, rewards and recognition, money, material perks and status). If you are able to tap into the things that give you drive and energy, you are likely to tolerate your manager’s ways more effectively. If motivators are consistently not satisfied then it is wise to broach the topic with your manager or HR.