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Motivating your Manager

Tuesdays are Psychology and Body Language Days at FlippingHeck.com

I’ve written previously about how to Manage your Manager, but how about motivating them?

If you read management (or productivity) weblogs – see here for my enormo list of recommended reading – then you’ll probably have noticed that anything to do with motivation in the workplace seems to be on a personal level or about motivating staff that work under you. But what if your manager’s about as useful as a chocolate fireguard? Ah Ha! That’s where psychology comes in.

  • Empathise – Make you manager feel as though you understand what they’re going through (even if you don’t). If they feel you have something in common they’ll be more responsive to your suggestions.
  • Assist – Offer to take work off their hands. That way it’ll get done the way that you want it to. This is really good if it’s quite high-profile and you get proper credit.
  • Lead – Yup, sometimes you do have to Manage your Manager. Drop hints, write a report, whatever it takes to start moving them in the right direction.
  • Go above their head – As much as we’d all hate to do it (unless your boss is an evil troll) sometimes your boss will need a kick from above. Make sure you do it nicely though – you don’t want to cause too much trouble!
  • Give them the idea – Sure, you won’t get the glory but your manager will feel happy and it may be just the kick they need to start improving.
  • Gang Up – Not really the ideal solution but if you can get a group of you together it may force your boss into changing.
  • Be Subtle – Start dropping subtle hints and clues such as a trade magazine open to a specific page or a website printout lying in your desk, hopefully it’ll sink in!
  • Leave – If it gets that bad then high-tail it outta there (not before finding another job first though, obviously!)
  • It’s a shame that employees are put in the spotlight so much for lacking motivation and drive when in reality it’s often bad, lazy, unmotivated management that’s the root cause.

    Hopefully (though light-hearted as is my style) the above may give you a couple of ideas on how to kick start your boss’s “get up and go”.

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