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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How Do I Approach My Manager with a Concern?

Often I am asked, "How do I approach my manager with a concern?" In most cases, the concern itself isn't as important as the approach and discussion.

As mentioned in the preceding post, "Manager Q and A," clear and honest communication is the answer.

Let's take an example I encountered recently. A friend mentioned that she had been informed that her direct report would report to a different boss, though my friend would act as direct's lead. My friend had been hired as a manager and was concerned this change of responsibility was a demotion.

My advice was to ask her boss to clearly explain the situation, commenting specifically on whether corporate conditions were behind this change or whether this was performance related. I also advised my friend, that if this was an issue of corporate conditions, to be willing to accept the change, though have her management commit to a review in a defined period of time. Further, I informed her to follow up the meeting with an email outlining the discussion as well as the commitment for the review.

Often times, business conditions and decisions beyond our own sphere of activity impact our work. We can either accept these temporary conditions or we can seek new opportunities in or out of the company. The decision to move should not be taken lightly, though it may offer an opportunity for much needed change.

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