IT Employment

How to manage the people who manage you

For most employees, you have more than just one manager setting expectations for you. Your "role set" includes co-workers, customers, and maybe managers further up in the organization. Learn how to manage the people who manage you.

If someone were to ask you how many people at work are telling you what to do, you'd probably reply just your manager. But according to a new whiteboard video on BNET by Ed Muzio, CEO of Group Harmonics, there could be anywhere from five to eight people who are guiding your work or setting expectations for your work day in and day out. These could include a co-worker, a customer, a manager higher up the food chain, etc. It's all a part of the Role Set Theory -- each of us has a set of five to eight people in the workplace who define expectations for us and reward or sanction our behavior. In fact, 80% of our work behavior is driven by our work role sets.

In this whiteboard video, Muzio gives advice on how to manage your role set.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

5 comments
oldbaritone
oldbaritone

1. Some video by someone else, somewhere else. 2. ??? 3. ??? . . .

shruthik86
shruthik86

it was very much interesting and applicable to anyone. cannot change everyone on earth but, try to be better :)

hmmmmm!
hmmmmm!

Look at the org charts, management is always autocratic, once the employee and manager recognize this fact, then the level of how it is applied is established.. As the tasks changes so does the level of it applied.. Military is most autocratic as they live by the rule "Senior in charge" which is supported by punishment if not followed, least autocratic is volunteer worker of some type whom can quite at will. We all reside somewhere between the two, but the buck stops with the manager, or should, when it stops with the worker level, something is broken.. that is the reality, the rest is simple discussion of how and to what degree the work breakdown structure and scope applies to each level of employee. Sounds a bit cold, but reality is just that, the ideal manager only allows and directs workers to the degree needed to get job done.. again cold, but reality! Sorry to burst the bubble some think applies, but "I will only do as I want as I am creative, or the other end of "only do as told" is simply how tight or lose the reins are held by management.

Steve Romero
Steve Romero

At the beginning of your post you asked, "How many people at work are "telling" you what to do?" You then go on to note 5 - 8 people are "guiding" your work. There is a major difference between those that tell me what to do, and those that guide my actions. I think if you asked folks how many people "guide" or "influence" their actions, many would list more than just their boss. Steve Romero, IT Governance Evangelist http://community.ca.com/blogs/theitgovernanceevangelist/

Jack-M
Jack-M

Depending on the work environment attempting to please 5-8 people as the author states may be the case sounds like an impossible task. Unless you decide to listen to your boss' orders, carry them out to the best of your ability and keep politics to a minimum. Not civility, not a friendly work place but politics. Politics will always come up but the less often the better. The work group dynamic does not have to be hostile in the cut throat sense. We'll never eliminate competition but back stabbing, rumors and tactics like that always seem to backfire. Remember who you work for and keep your eye on the ball. Be cool, stay in school. Jack... LOL

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