Consult Carson 7/14: “My boss is out of touch. How should I tactfully communicate with them?”

From today’s mailbag: “My boss and company are behind the times and out of touch. How should I tactfully communicate with them?”

Carson: While many of us know that adaptability and response to changing times is key, these are not always common enough themes in business.  It’s the very reason many businesses either fail or mismanage and never reach their potential.

Any time you want to bridge a gap with your leadership, it is important to understand their priorities.  These can typically be gleaned via meetings and communication; any time you hear them speak or you read their e-mail correspondence, they are likely spelling out their priorities – effectively or not.  In short, you can figure out what makes them tick and what they value.  You are going to have to present value if you want to get their attention.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for leadership to be comprised of people who have either never done the job they create policy for or have not taken the time to understand what really occurs on the front lines.  Furthermore, not all managers are effective; many of them rise through the ranks due to politics or simply being the last person standing; you can be up against a variety of factors when you have a manager who does not see the true issues you and your team are grappling with and – more importantly – does not remove the roadblocks to success.  That’s their job – to eliminate obstacles and support you in realizing your full value you can offer the company in your career.

That said, you likely do know what matters to your manager and leadership.  Find creative ways to contribute; offer to coach and counsel on areas where you have strength that align with your supervisors’ priorities.  Ask to meet with them to discuss suggestions you have to improve results in the areas they care about.  While you have them as captive audience, not only do you broach the topics they like to talk about so you can earn their respect and buy-in, but you introduce the concepts that you know will make a difference.  When they believe and trust you and know you are there to make them look good and improve results, they will be far more likely to listen when you express the issues that your group is struggling with and your proposed suggestions to fix them.

Many people are afraid of change, and managers are people.  Often, they find a way of doing things and it works acceptably enough in their eyes to keep doing things the same way.  If they do not spend time with their team or getting feedback on process, those processes will never be improved and optimal results will never be realized.

You can make a difference in this area by earning the respect of your leadership.  The way to do this is provide them value in any way you can – coaching others, being vocal in praising the things that are going right, and in championing the causes they care about.  Do those things, and you will earn your right at the table to present the things you care about.  Similar to forming a political platform with which to run for office on based on the hot button issues so you can also chase your passion policies while in office, this approach will prevent you from being branded as negative or a non-team player.

The most effective way to get people to care about your issues is to genuinely show concern and attention to theirs.  Doing it in a unique way will give you a better chance of standing out and getting your voice heard.

Changing managers and leadership stuck in their ways can be quite difficult, but if you do it respectfully and sequentially, you can very much make a difference!


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