gelatoย inย ย 
Software Engineerย 2 years ago

how to maintain a good relationship with manager?

How do you guys maintain your relationship with your manager? I'm pretty new to the whole "corporate America" idea and no one in my family ever had a white-collar job. I just had my first "annual review" and I was kinda lost.

What kind of relationship should I be maintaining with my manager? Should I have small talk with him from time to time? We work in different states, so it's not even like I can pop into his office and ask about his family or something. Right now, we have catchups from time to time, but I really don't know what's appropriate to mention or not. My manager said it's all up to me but that's a wide range of topics and I don't want to seem unprofessional.

19g616kyjayk75Software Engineerย 2 years ago
Most of the good managers and tech leads I've worked with put in effort to try to meet their team members where they are in terms of communication style. After all, being on the same page improves morale and productivity. If you're comfortable doing small talk, usually at the start of 1:1s, go ahead. If not, no good manager will hold it against you. Chances are they're trying harder than you think to figure out your communication style! The typical advice you see anywhere applies: highlight your accomplishments and mention what's blocking you, keep written notes, and have an explicit conversation about your career and growth. It's also great to spend 1:1 time with your manager learning about the sorts of things that you will never get a chance to cover in a group setting. For instance, managers will rarely criticize or ruminate over details in public, so private time is the best time to broach those topics and stay aligned. It's rare that a manager is so bad that your relationship becomes adversarial to the point you need to start withholding information or to avoid being yourself, but obviously you can react as the situation calls for. Usually at worst your manager will simply be so embroiled in their own stuff they won't be able to support you well, but even so, the regular tips should get the most of whatever you're going to get out of that relationship.
gelatoSoftware Engineerย 2 years ago
Thank you so much! This is really helpful. I will start taking notes of blockers and accomplishments for my manager to know. I'm pretty sure my manager is not a bad person, so I don't see myself withholding information. And I do agree that starting out with small talks will be a great way to get to know him :) Thank you again!