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What could you have done to improve your relationship with a manager you didn't like?

"What could you have done to improve your relationship with a manager you didn't like?"

This question could be a follow up to the question about having a bad manager.  In my case, I didn't know he was a bad manager until I switched managers.  But here is a generic answer that shows professionalism.

Short Answers

"If I communicated my problems earlier, I feel we both would have benefited.  I waited several months before approaching my manager, and after our talk, our relationship got much better.  So I could have improved my relationship by talking about problems sooner than later."

"I feel I should be more understanding of different work styles.  I didn't like my manager not communicating enough, but that didn't mean we couldn't approach him.  So I'm learning to work seamlessly with different types of people."

"One of my managers gave too much criticism.  I value criticism, but hearing something negative every other day was difficult.  I think I could have communicated how the criticism affected me in order to improve our relationship."

Long Answer

"I had a manager in the past I didn't like that much, but I couldn't say he was a bad manager.  Our personalities conflicted and we had some arguments.  This affected my performance and willingness to work in the beginning, but I asked myself this same question.  I thought I should try to get along with my manager despite my personal feelings.  I set them aside and maintained a professional relationship.  Taking this approach really helped.  Because I was willing to look past minor differences, our work relationship got stronger and I performed at a higher level."

This answer shows that this person took proper actions before it was too late.  It shows that this candidate has the ability to work with managers and team members despite personal differences or feelings of dislike.  When you think of your own answer, make sure you answer this question showing that you dealt with this problem before and that you overcame the situation.

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