Consult Carson 6/10: “I have a bad relationship with my boss. Help!”

From today’s mailbag: “My relationship with my boss is poor.  I don’t feel there is any respect, I feel micro-managed and like nothing I do is right.  Any suggestions are appreciated.”

Carson: When a facet of your job such as the manager-employee dynamic is poor, it has a way of contaminating the entire experience.  No matter how enjoyable your role, a poor relationship with your boss can destroy it all.

Remember that the manager-employee relationship is a contract.  You agree to be the person you pledged to be on interview day.  They agree to give you the training and support you need, to remove obstacles from your success and help you on your career path.  Period.  However, it’s never really this easy, is it?  Lots of times, managers do their part and get nothing from employees, and vice versa.  Unfortunately, many managers have not gotten the training they need to be effective managers!

Often, all you can control is you.  However, you can certainly control the steps you take to address this disconnect.  This is what I call the sales food chain; your relationship with your manager is similar to your relationship with subordinates or with clients.  It’s about support, mutual respect, and mutually beneficial partnership.

1. Take the initiative to meet with your manager.  What motivates them?  Do they know what motivates you, what you need and how you like to be led?  Communication is the cure to nearly all the world’s problems.  If they “don’t trust” you or “micromanage” you, there’s a reason for it.  They may be getting pressure you know nothing about.  They may be under a false impression about you.  No matter what, you need to renew your contract like renewing your vows – revisit the agreement from when you started working for them.  Express what you need from a support perspective.  Make an agreement on how you will proceed.

2. Be sure to look at things from their perspective.  Micromanagement is often an over-used word; the dictionary defines it as “excessive attention to minute details.”  Performance and process are not minute details – they are paramount.  So be sure you give your manager their due; they are also under expectations and have a boss.  The more you understand what your manager needs from you and the more you work together to deliver for and support each other, the better.

3. Give it time.  Trust me, I know that not every frosty relationship can thaw.  You can rarely do much in the way of seeking outside help because there can very easily be repercussions for such an action no matter what any HR department will tell you.  Sometimes, all you can do is persevere.  If it is a completely intolerable relationship or situation, you may need to look elsewhere or seek a move to another division of your company.  However, nothing lasts forever, and at some point your manager may go elsewhere and you may as well.  Furthermore, if you grin and bear it and support your manager as best you can without burning the bridge, they may at some point provide some assistance.

Control what you can control.   You can control taking the initiative by scheduling a meeting with your manager and communicating your perspective.  You can control how you view the relationship and how you alter your process based on your manager’s needs.  You can control making an exit from the situation if that’s what must be done.  But – just like any sales opportunity – you don’t move on until you’ve exhausted the opportunities that exist.  If it’s just that you feel they don’t trust you and they micromanage your process, then you need to find out why this is the case before you decide that this dynamic cannot be changed.


Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to

About cvheady007

I am a Christian, Husband, Dad, workaholic and author. Biography Carson Vincent Heady was born in Cape Girardeau, MO, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and moved to St. Louis in 2001. He has served in sales and leadership across Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Carson is best-selling author of the Birth of a Salesman series, the first book of which was published by World Audience Inc. in 2010. He released The Salesman Against the World in 2014, A Salesman Forever in 2016 and Salesman on Fire in 2020. He is also featured in Scott Ingram’s B2B Sales Mentors: 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. Carson is a 7-time CEO/President’s Club winner across 5 roles at AT&T and Microsoft and National Verizon Rockstar winner. He has been recognized as a top social seller at Microsoft and is consistently ranked in the top 25 sales gurus in the world on Rise Global. He is included among the Top 50 sales authors on LinkedIn. With over 330K social followers, Carson has also been interviewed on over 30 sales and leadership podcasts, by such luminaries as Jeffrey & Jennifer Gitomer, Jeb Blount, Brandon Bornancin, Sam Dunning, Larry Levine, Darrell Amy, Scott Ingram, Thierry van Herwijnen, Jim Brown, Sam Jacobs, Luigi Prestinenzi, Donald Kelly, Marylou Tyler, George Leith, Pat Helmer, Eric Nelson, Ron Tunick, Jeff Arthur, Mary Ann Samedi, Jean Oursler, Andre Harrell, Marlene Chism, Bill Crespo, Matt Tanguay, Josh Wheeler and Chad Bostick. He has also co-hosted the Smart Biz Show on EG Marketing Radio. His articles have appeared in several noteworthy publications such as SalesGravy, Smash! Sales, Salesopedia and the Baylor Sports Department S3 Report. Carson lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Amy and daughters Madison, Sidonia and Charlotte.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s