How To Work With A Manager Who Just Doesn’t Like You

Jemma Collins

21st March 2018


Your relationship with your manager can have a significant impact on your work. Great working relationships could mean better opportunities passed your way, bigger projects for you to work on and potentially more recognition.

However, things aren’t always sunny. According to Gallup research, 17% of employees leave due to ‘Management or the general work environment’. Many people from time to time must deal with a manager they just don’t get along with so if your manager is acting distant, callous, or even actively disinterested, don’t panic. There’s something you can do about it.

Here’s our 4 steps to transform things for the better.

1. Have a chat with your team

Confide in other team members to establish whether they think the issue is there too. It could just be you over assessing the situation and taking things personally. If you still think your manager is acting differently towards you, maybe there’s a different approach your team are taking that you can adopt. Is there anything you could learn from their performance?

If you’re not close to anyone within your team or you don’t trust them to keep it confidential, take a note of the way your manager acts around you (this could be the things they say or even their body language towards you). Share this with friends and family and ask for their opinions and advice.

2. Think…Could it be you?

When you’re suspicious about whether your manager likes you, it’s a good idea to observe your own behaviour. Perhaps you’re the one who needs to change something. Are you avoiding interactions with your manager or over analysing your assumptions about how they view you?

As humans, it’s natural to act cold around people who we think might not like us. However, this in turn may cause them to act coldly around us too. Break through the vicious and reconsider your behaviour to discover whether how you act is somehow playing a role in this situation. Despite not being the favourite, you can attempt ways to improve your relationship.

3. Focus on your work and improve performance

Commit yourself into your work and show your manager that you value your position. Finish tasks by their deadline and involve yourself in projects you wouldn’t usually do. By immersing yourself into your work, your manager will begin to see and recognise you for the hard work you’re putting in and in turn, develop a greater sense of respect for you.

Make sure you both know your progression and career aspirations. Ask your manager for frequent meetings to discuss your performance. You’ll know what to work on and how to move forward and they will see and appreciate that you’re taking the initiative to become a robust employee.

4. Accept things for how they are / They’re just not that into you

So your manager doesn’t like you. Big deal! If you’ve tried all the above and nothing has changed, you need to accept things for how they are. Instead of focusing on your manager, focus on yourself.

You could stay in the same job where you feel undervalued, unappreciated and ignored, or you could find yourself a new job with a manager who does care! (Yes, they exist.) The effort and focus you put in looking for a new job is certainly better than putting up with a manager who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

It might feel like giving up, but if your manager doesn’t like you despite you making every available effort, then it’s really in your best interests to move on. As well as creating a toxic work environment which can have an impact on your well-being, staying in a role where you’re undervalued and underutilised can slow your future career prospects and prevent you from developing as you should.

If you’re currently working in a place where you feel undervalued, you can find out more about our current opportunities by viewing our job pages or calling one of our consultants for friendly advice on 020 7426 9835.

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