Illustration: Ashley Siebels
Bosses

4 ways to get back on your manager’s good side again at work

After a huge misunderstanding with your boss, things start to go south and you start wondering how to recover at work.

Here’s how to make your actions speak for you when you need to get back on your manager’s good side.

Make a promise you know you’ll keep

Show that you understand and accept exactly where you get wrong, and want to move forward as quickly as possible.

U.S. News & World Report staff writer Laura McMullen features advice from Skip Weisman, a leadership and workplace communication expert, in the publication.

“‘It will not happen again – those are probably five of the most powerful words an employee can say to the boss,’ Weisman says, because the employee is taking ‘real responsibility’ for his or her actions. Of course, he adds, it’s not enough to just say this. You must live up to your promise by not repeating the mistake,” McMullen writes.

Demonstrate how committed you are

Don’t let your manager sense that you’re not as engaged as you could be.

Susan Cramm, author, founder and president of Valuedance, writes in the Harvard Business Review about her early experience being “in the doghouse” at work, saying that you should “go overboard.”

“Perceptions die hard. Don’t give anybody a reason to question your commitment. Postpone vacations. Arrive early. Leave late. Follow the advice of great marketing pros: tell them what you are going to do, tell them that you are doing it, and tell them you got it done,” Cramm writes.

So don’t slack off. This time, make it clear that you heard your supervisor’s instructions the first time.

Show that you have some answers…

Emily Moore writes on Glassdoor that you should “come up with your own solution” in a story about what to do when your manager is angry with you.

“Before you even approach your boss, come up with at least a couple of ideas about how you could make things right. Even if you’re not totally sure that those are the right courses of action, the fact that you bring them up will demonstrate thoughtfulness and proactivity,” she writes, “And, of course, your manager can serve as a gut-check before you take any next steps.”

…but don’t kiss up either

No one likes an employee who constantly tries to score brownie points by kissing up to the boss. It feels fake, like there’s something to hide.

So, after you apologize to your manager for the mistake, make sure that your actions are earnest. If your faux pas wasn’t too damaging, you may be able to win back their trust over time.

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