Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Responsiveness Missing Managers

Whenever I need my manager's advice or approval, he keeps giving me the brush-off. His most common reply is that he will deal with the matter later, and then it's usually too late. How do I get him to take some action when I need it?

Managers who regularly give their employees the brush-off are way off in many areas. If a manager is looking for a way to create dissatisfaction, errors, and chaos, the classic brush-off is the way to go. When your manager's typical response is that he will address your concerns later, he is actually saying that he will act like a manager later.

When dealing with this type of manager, one approach is to look carefully for the best time to meet with him. There may certain periods during the day when he has the time and perhaps the inclination to deal with issues raised by the employees.

Let him see the benefits to him and the department if he takes action on the matters you raise, and also let him see the costly consequences that will arise if such matters are addressed later. If he insists on handling things later, set a specific time to meet, and clearly indicate what will need to happen at such a time.

His brushed-off managerial style is bound to create some problems in your department, and they will ultimately catch the eye of senior management. Unless your manager starts focusing on now rather than later, management may say, "See you later."

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!