How to manage your manager

Just saw a video on BNET for Ed Muzio, CEO of Group Harmonics, saying that there is a simple recipe for every employee to make sure his managers do not make his life miserable. On the whole I liked it because it is very true but I suspect it works. 

To summarize what he said, “you need to follow the ICE model”.  ICE stands for Identify, Connect and Explain.  Which means:

  1. Identify who are the people who have expectations out of you. Not only your direct manager but maybe his manager, a customer, another manager in another department whom you are involved with in a project. Anyone who has expectations out of you and maybe authority to directly or indirectly reward or punish you.
  2. Connect with those people, open a clear communication channel with them and make them know you and know them well.
  3. Explain to all of them what you do exactly and let them all know the other pressures on you that they do not know.

He also said that you need to be:

  1. Predictable.  Your managers have to be able to know what to expect when they ask you to do something. 
  2. Reliable, so they know that if you say you will do something, you will do it.
  3. Responsible, which means they know that you are working even when they are not looking or checking on you.   

He says that if you are Predictable, Reliable and Responsible then they will trust you and once you build the trust they will not give you a hard time.

Here is the link fo those who are interested in seeing it:


I totally agree with what he said and in a perfect world it is very true.  But thinking about it sometimes you build the trust and you are Predictable, Reliable and Responsible and still your managers turn your life into hell.  And sometimes you connect and explain very well but they simply do not care!

So theoretically, if you follow the recipe above then your life will be great and your managers will not give you a hard time, which Ed Muzio called it “Managing people who manage you”

Unfortunately in our world there are a lot of sick people who take authority and no matter what you do they are never satisfied. 

I just thought I share this video with you because it is definitely useful and it will work well with you if your manager is not a psychopath or a control freak.

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