1. Don’t try to be my friend – I don’t need you to be my friend. If I want to connect with someone at work, I’ll reach out to someone who is on my level or in a different department. That way we won’t have any conflicts of interest or falling outs that might impact our working relationship.
2. Don’t stick your nose into my personal life – I am fine with a manager who is sympathetic and understanding of my position. In fact, I appreciate it. Do not gossip about me or complain about what I’m doing with my personal life. As a manager, it’s none of your business.
3. Don’t compete with me – As my manager, you should be supporting and encouraging me. If I do something great, it will make you look good. So, don’t try to “beat” me to things or get upset if I understand something and act upon it before you can. If I’m a superstar, you tend to get all of the credit anyway.
4. Allow me to ask questions – I know it can be annoying if I ask questions all of the time. It must be extremely uncomfortable when you don’t know all of the answers. Fortunately, you don’t have to know everything. But, let me ask and help me find the answers.
5. Be genuine – If you truly loathe me, don’t pretend to like me. We work together. That’s it. You don’t have to like me and I don’t have to like you. We just need to get along enough to get the job done. I’ll see through your false face and hate you for it.
6. Don’t micro-manage me – Give me a task, give me directions and provide your expectations and I’ll take care of the rest. Check in with me every now and then to see how I’m doing, but don’t criticize me if I’m not doing things exactly the way you would do them.
7. Educate me – Although micro-managing doesn’t work, a lack of guidance doesn’t work either. If you want something specific, tell me. I can’t read your mind. I need to understand what the work entails and what you expect from me. If you don’t provide either of those components, our working relationship won’t work.
8. Provide feedback in a positive way – I’m okay with being told that I’ve done something wrong. I don’t like it much, but if you do it in a way that I can learn from my error and do the right things in the future, then it’s a win-win for both of us.
9. Give me opportunities to grow – Some jobs do not allow employees to grow within the position. They expect the person to complete the same tasks every day and be happy with status quo. If there are classes I can take or books I can read, encourage me to do it. I’ll become a better part of your team.
10. Understand my value – I am your employee, not a man or a woman and my thoughts, requests and suggestions should be considered. Don’t discard what I say because of your personal bias.
Most importantly, let’s lift each other up! We’re on the same team and teammates should always support and encourage one another.