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1. Accept Change
For a creative manager who is trying to improve things, hearing "but we've always done it this way" is like running into a brick wall. Don't be a brick wall.
In Leadership From the Trenches, Jerry Baker reminds both owners and employees that business success is granted to the quick and nimble. Those who can accept change and adapt to changing markets and different needs in the workplace are most likely to remain successful. If you want to be a part of the future, be willing to try change.
2. Anything Is Possible
"That just isn't possible" is another phrase that managers do not like to hear. Sometimes things are difficult, sometimes they take more time, sometimes priorities need to be discussed.
Instead of pointing out that something is simply not going to happen, approach the situation from a problem-solving point of view. For example, "John, you just said you need these reports by 5:00 this evening. I can get them to you, but I was scheduled to work on another project this afternoon. How about I get these reports finished first, then see how far I can on the project?"
This is a good way of handling "impossible" situations. You are acknowledging the importance of all of the work, and dealing with the reality that you can't get everything done yesterday. Plus, good managers will appreciate that you didn't lie about being able to get everything done. Your proactive attitude should get you noticed.
3. Take Responsibility
"I don't know" is not an answer. "I don't know; I will find out" is. This is a proactive attitude that gets employees valued and sometimes promoted.
Sometimes you think you have communicated with a manager, but the manager did not necessarily get the message. Bite your tongue before you say, "But I emailed you about that last week." Among other things, it sounds like you are faulting your manager, which will not get you ahead.
I Will Follow has a comprehensive list of email etiquette tips. In it, email users are advised to remember that email is a form of communication that, unlike the telephone, does not require an immediate response. It is easy for some people to put email answering on the back burner, and if you are working for somebody who does not respond to emails, you may wish to look for a better form of communication with this person, or find an appropriate way to follow-up. For example, "Hey, Bob, did you get may email about the Smith account? Is there a time we can talk about it?"
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