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  • Writer's pictureLisa D. Anderson

My Manager Ignores Me…What Can I Do?

What if you noticed that your manager ignores you? What should you do? I have received this question from more than one person, so I decided to write a blog to give some ideas on how to address this with your manager.

Unfortunately, this behavior happens in the workplace every day. What can you do if you’re ever in this situation?

If possible, conduct a sanity check to ensure you’re reading the behavior correctly. Is your manager dismissive and he/she dismisses everyone? Is your manager not responding to your e-mails but you know they are responding to colleagues/teammates? Did this behavior just start or have you noticed this behavior for a while and it hasn’t changed?

Answering the questions above will help you determine if what you’re experiencing is an isolated event (your manager having a bad day) or is this a systemic issue that you’ve been feeling for a while and you have more than a few examples where you have felt that your manager ignores you.

If you’ve read the situation correctly and you believe your manager is ignoring you, here are a few recommendations/suggestions that you can implement.

Ask your manager for a one-on-one meeting to have a candid conversation about what you’ve been feeling. You never want to approach this meeting in an accusatory manner. You can start the conversation by stating “Thank you for the meeting. I would love feedback on a few ideas that I presented in the meeting. I didn’t receive direct feedback in the meeting and would like to know how I may better present these ideas or whether the meeting is the appropriate place to present them.”

Assess your relationship with your manager. Do you trust your manager? Has your manager always been supportive and more recently they appear to be distracted? You never know what’s going on above you. Your manager may be feeling the pressure of additional projects, responsibilities that have rolled down from their manager. If you feel that you manager is overwhelmed, have a confidential conversation with him/her on how you can add value and support them.

If you’re in a situation where you have tried to reach out to your manager and have not received feedback or a meeting, the next question to ask yourself is “am I in the right place?” You should evaluate whether your manager can be the supportive manager who you can learn and grow from. If you’re not able to get feedback and your manager refuses to speak with you, are you in the right place? It’s a tough question to answer but one that you need to answer sooner than later. The longer you stay under a non-supportive manager, it can make for a toxic environment for you (personally) and bad feelings can quickly develop if you believe this person is blocking you from adding value and showing your brilliance.

I hope a few of these tips will assist you in what you can do if your manager ignores you.

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