My line manager seems less than interested in conducting one-on-ones with me and I have no clue how to fix it.

I am relatively new to the corporate world and have been at my current job for less than a year. I recently discovered that my manager has been conducting regular one-on-ones with all of her direct reports except for me. Thankfully I am the kind of person who gives updates proactively, so we weren't completely out of synch during this time.

When my manager realized she'd forgotten to schedule a standing meeting for me, she apologized profusely. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and just accepted that I'd fallen off the radar somehow. In the week that followed, I had to remind her no less than 3 times to schedule a standing one-on-one meeting for me. Our first was scheduled for today, and she missed it without as much as a heads-up e-mail, despite sending me messages regarding project-related material this morning.

My performance reviews from this manager have been excellent and she is very friendly and polite with me when we do interact. I've been told I exceed expectations in several areas, especially for someone who came into the position with almost no prior industry knowledge. However, I feel my career is being neglected and am unsure about how to rectify this in a professional and positive way.

I want to grow with this company and be afforded the same access to my manager that my colleagues clearly enjoy. Any advice would be appreciated.

jnuttall's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

 Be patient.  Don't push too hard.  Offer to schedule it yourself.  

sfa8qr's picture

Thanks so much for your advice. I am going to be patient. My manager has told me she prefers to schedule these types of things herself, but perhaps I should take initiative and suggest another time. Thanks again!

NickA's picture

It sounds like supporting you through one-on-ones is something that your manager wants to do, but not something that she perceives that she needs to do.  It's entirely possible that your proactive updates are meeting all of her needs for communication, therefore when she has to drop something, the one-on-one with you is likely to go.

Being regarded as someone who doesn't need supervision is almost always a good thing.  However, missing out on the development that comes from supervision and mentoring is not such a good thing.

Why would having one-on-ones with you be good for the business?  Why would having one-on-ones with you be good for your manager personally?  If you build and present a stronger business case for the things that you want, then they become more likely to happen.

And bear in mind that while every non-asshole manager WANTS all the best things for their staff, every disciplined manager deals with their NEEDS first.  Build a connection in her mind between getting her needs met and giving you the professional development that you want.

KTatley's picture
Training Badge

I wonder if you have heard the cast Boss One-on-Ones on 10/11/2008? This could be helpful.

Good that your Boss does seem to partly recognise they should be doing O3s if not why they are so important. It does seem to be a bit of a priority issue - managing by exception. This is not good for you so carry on with your updates and use the guidance in the cast to open up the possibility of covering the O3 content that you want to cover.

I agree that Micka makes a good point about needs - if you can make yourself more important to your boss then it will be more likely that your boss spends more time with you. The Managing your Boss cast of 25/1/2006 is a good grounding to help with this.


sfa8qr's picture

I really appreciate the feedback and will listen to the Boss One-on-Ones and Managing Your Boss casts today.  I require very little supervision on the few projects that involve interaction with my line manager.  I will try to think of ways to make myself more important to her.  Thanks again for the suggestions!