There’s so much career advice out there on how to handle a difficult manager but very few actually give you the honest truth on why you may be struggling with your manager in the first place.
Here are things you may doing that could be straining your relationship with your manager:
He or she has to hold your hand along the way. You just aren’t self-directed. When your boss has to sit down with you to map out a process from scratch instead if you taking a first pass at it, they wonder why they have you on the team in the first place. Always offer to put together a draft on your own and then sit down with your manager to review and edit. Managers don’t want to start from scratch. Give them something to react to.
You ask way too many low-quality questions that you should be able to figure out on your own. Busy managers expect you to figure out basic questions on your own. If you can ask a colleague or look up the answer – do so. Don’t ask your manager. Asking a ton of basic questions will only make you look small. Do your own research and exhaust all possible avenues before going to your manager.
You don’t follow-up or circle back when you are given a task. No one wants to chase you. Be that person who gets stuff done and then sends a note to say, “it’s handled!”
You whine too much and you overshare. Limit your discussion about your personal life. Share enough so they know you are a multidimensional human being with a life and hobbies but stop there. Don’t whine about your commute, your sick children, your cranky mother-in-law or that annoying co-worker in the next cube.
You don’t give credit to your boss or your teammates. You’re that guy who takes all of the credit without naming names. Your manager sees through you. Stop it. Give credit to your manager and your teammates often and immediately.
You are the weak link on the team. Everyone else is on their A game and you are struggling. Your manager has to explain your poor effort. All managers want a high-functioning team. Figure out the success factors for your role and create a plan to improve.
None of the above apply to you. You are killing at work and you still get no love from your manager. You aren’t annoying and you’re a rock star. There’s nothing you can do to change your manager’s opinion about you. Stick with it as along as you can. If you are no longer growing and your manager is an obstacle to your success then move to another team or move on to a new company.