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Learning Path

Managing Your Manager

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Time to complete: 3h 12m

Published byO'Reilly Media, Inc.

CreatedMay 2018

Nothing can make your workplace environment more stressful or uncomfortable than not having a good relationship with a manager. Compounding matters further, management decisions can often seem capricious, arbitrary, and frustrating from your perspective. Most problematic, though, is the damper this kind of situation can be on your productivity as well as others’. But it doesn't have to be that way. Indeed, you can take a proactive stance and work to manage your manager.

In this learning path for professionals at all levels, Java Champion Ken Kousen shares the tips and tricks he’s learned in 30-plus years interacting with managers at all levels, from beginners to C-level executives. Ken shows you how to foster a healthy, professional relationship with your manager that simultaneously let’s you preserve your self-respect and sanity. You’ll learn how to develop interactions that you can rely on when crises happen; how to get the resources you need from management, when you need it; and how to avoid threatening the relationship unnecessarily. One key to building a relationship with managers is understanding how their rewards and incentives differ from those of other employees, and Ken will teach you how to look at things from your manager’s point of view as well as instruct you on ways to express disagreements with a manager that is ultimately nonconfrontational but still gets the point across. You’ll also explore how adapting the tit-for-tat solution to the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma problem will help you “train” your manager to anticipate your reactions and take them into account.

What you’ll learn—and how you can apply it

  • Understand how your manager's world differs from yours and how to approach your manager with that in mind
  • How to successfully develop a relationship with your manager through a combination of training them to respond the way you want as well as making arguments likely to be heard and understood
  • Choose techniques from game theory to express satisfaction and dissatisfaction to your manager in a nonhostile, productive way
  • Identify personality preferences of a manager that can help you better present your position
  • Understand and be aware of the differences between a professional relationship and friendship
  • How to deal with micromanagers, working remotely, and the best way to tell someone that they are completely and totally wrong

This learning path is for you because…

  • To be viewed as successful, you need to have visible, outward support from your manager
  • You have managers at your job whose decisions affect your work
  • You need a nonaggressive, productive way to object to your manager's decisions without escalating into a crisis
  • You need to learn your manager's communication preferences in actual situations to better predict their responses to your requests

Prerequisites: None

Materials or downloads needed in advance: None