How Do You Tell Your Manager – Enough Already


Sometimes you feel like – okay, enough already. You have tried to work very hard on developing a strong working relationship with your manager. You have done just about everything you can think of and many of the options from your friends.

Nothing seems to be getting through – what next?

Confront the situation – head on. Every once and awhile you will run into a manager that the work environment is just not very good.  My last post, I talked about how to manage your manager. You have tried all of those and nothing seems to work. Enough attempting to do some of the right things, get right to the point.

“What am I doing that just does not work for you? No matter how hard I try, I just feeling like I am not getting anywhere. Help me to understand!”

Definitely not the question or statements – you would normally make in normal circumstances – but these times are not normal. You are more than likely very miserable, unhappy and hate to come to work.

I have had to do this a couple of times in my 27 years. It happens! Was it successful? I believe more so than not. The first time that I did this – I was scared. I was working for a manager that managed by intimidation. He loved to push himself onto everyone. I had enough, so, I requested a one on one and asked point blank. To my relief, he did not fire me on the spot. He just sat there and could not come up with any answer.  After some awkward moments of silence, he spoke up and told me – that there were a few items that I did that he felt were a problem. First one, he felt that the folks on the team were going to me to direction and leadership – and they should come to him. Probably right, but his actions drove us to whoever we could find to help us. I told him, exactly why that was. The other part that caused the friction was around my aggressive nature to getting stuff done. He felt that I was too young and should be more or less taking direction from him, rather than doing it on my own. Seems like he was scared of me. I told him that all I cared about was getting the job done as best that I could and believe me – if I needed help, he would hear from me. Afterwards – the working relationship was better, but not that much. He was later replaced for a new manager!

The other time I did this was a complete disaster. The relationship did not have any trust whatsoever. We were two people with two different agenda’s, different styles and different approaches. I was more aggressive (go-getter) and my manager was a slow and methodical person. I was quick to make decisions and he wanted every piece of data. I was loud and he was quiet. When we sat down to confront the situation – we both were very good at calling out our differences – but not good at figuring out how to work together. After about 10 minutes, we just knew that this was not going to work. I decided the best situation for me, was to look for a different position. He had more team members that were more like him and worked okay together. I was the odd one, I decided that I would not be good for that team and left.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not; but you have to try. There is no reason to completely hate your job or going to work.

Do you have any other approaches – that have been effective?