How to Course-Correct With Management

Jul 30 2019

A good working relationship with management can not only prove critical to success in your current position, but can also set the framework for promotions and even future employment in other organizations. Recently a Building Brave member asked this question in the app,

I recently started a new job and got off on the wrong foot with my manager. What are some ways I can course correct?
Executive career coach Dana Theus offers advice for how to course-correct to improve the relationship. 
Building Brave Expert Dana Theus

Dana Theus

Take action as soon as you can

If you’re still “new” (e.g., 9 months or less) then you have time to address this situation. Once you’ve let a difficult relationship “set in,” it’s much harder. The best thing to do is to conduct your own assessment of what went wrong and what actions you personally can take to address it. Be prepared to fess up to whatever mistakes you know you made. If you feel that s/he treated you unfairly or inappropriately you may want to bring that up too, but only after you’ve shared your own assessment of what you contributed to the situation. Do your best to articulate what you WANT the relationship to look like. Once you’re ready, ask for a one-on-one meeting.

Prepare your observations

  • ways you feel the relationship isn’t how you wish
  • what you’d like the relationship to be like
  • actions you took that contributed to the current situation
  • optional: what they did and how it made you feel
  • what you plan to do differently in the future
  • what support you’d like from your supervisor

Let them see you in a new light

It’s impossible to know how your manager feels about the situation, so you’re better off simply addressing it. Give them a reason to see you in a new light. You may wonder if you can just start acting differently, without this conversation. You can try and it might work, but it will probably take longer. 

We have the opportunity to build a trusting, positive relationship with our supervisors. That will happen faster and more openly if we try to talk about it directly.

Download Building Brave’s Mobile Mentoring app for more advice from professional women at all ages and stages. Get guidance for your specific situation, or consider fresh voices and perspectives.


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About the Author

Meghan Wollack

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