By Published On: April 26, 2016

Everyone needs to vent. It releases pressure on the mind and body. Misery shared is often a salve for the soul. When that bitching is aimed upward towards your manager, however, be sure to bring a suggested solution along with your angst.

Seeking counsel from above for troubling situations with clients, co-workers, vendors etc. is fine. But simply bringing a suitcase of sarcasm on the trip will likely only increase your frustration. Take a breath, think through the situation, and devise your recommended plan of action to address the issue. And don’t worry if it’s the absolute right one.

Early in my career as a product manager, I was troubled by how our division’s salespeople were being incentivized for product sales. So, I decided to take this up with the sales manager (to whom I did not report). I outlined the frustrations that the product and sales people were experiencing and proposed a solution.

The beginning of the meeting was a bit rocky as the sales manager wondered why I was making this issue my business at all. We got past that hurdle and my recommendation was discussed. She agreed that the situation did indeed warrant attention and though my plan needed some significant work, it laid the foundation for a workable solution.

Vent first, then lay out a plan. That makes the end of the discussion constructive and provides the beginning of a path to resolution. You may not have all the answers, but your manager will laud the input and effort and appreciate not simply being saddled with an open-ended problem.

The resolution may not be exactly what you envisioned – you did, after all, seek out help and guidance. But you can rest easier now that you’ve let off some steam and that steam powered something productive.


About the Author: cat-tonic

Born of curiosity and enthusiasm, we’re a scrappy group of smart, passionate marketers who work hard and play hard. We show up every day and fight for our clients who are making the world a better place. We listen with curiosity, explore deeply, ask hard questions, and sometimes put forth ideas that might make you squirm. Because we believe the status quo is good for growing mold but not much else. The way we see it, change is the way forward and the magic happens when curiosity, math, science, instinct, and talent intersect.
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