7 Signs Your Manager Doesn’t Respect You and How to Respond

Navigating the professional landscape is challenging enough without the added stress of a disrespectful manager. Recognizing the signs of a manager who doesn’t respect you is crucial for your well-being and career growth. 

Here are seven signs to consider and strategies for responding to each, including knowing when it’s time to move on.

Shari Says: Don’t let one of these turn you away from an excellent job. Managing up is common in today’s work environment. Realizing some leaders have not been given proper training to fulfill their role may be something you need to do in order to keep your job.  It is only when several of these become stifling to you that leaving should be your consideration.

1. They call you in a panic about an ASAP task — Only to go silent on you

Your Response:

  • Stay Calm: Address the immediate task efficiently and communicate your progress.
  • Seek Clarity: After the initial panic subsides, ask for clear deadlines and follow-up plans.
    Shari Says: Document these discussions.
  • Set Boundaries: Politely but firmly set boundaries on acceptable communication times and expectations.

Exit Indicator: If this pattern continues and affects your workflow and stress levels, it may be time to reassess your position.

2. They change their mind daily about what they want you to work on

Your Response:

  • Document Changes: Keep a log of task changes and their rationale.
    Shari Says: This helps in identifying patterns and providing accountability.
  • Clarify Priorities: Request a clear list of priorities to help manage your tasks effectively.
  • Communicate Impact: Highlight how constant changes affect your productivity and suggest a more stable approach.

Exit Indicator: If constant changes lead to confusion and decreased productivity with no resolution in sight, consider other opportunities.

3. They ask to review every task you complete

Your Response: 

  • Understand the Motive: Try to understand why they feel the need to micromanage.
    Shari Says: It could be a lack of trust or their own insecurities. Review if any assignment in the past made them feel unsure of your ability to complete the task without guidance.
  • Propose Checkpoints: Suggest periodic reviews instead of constant oversight to build trust over time.
  • Show Competence: Demonstrate your competence through consistent, high-quality work.

Exit Indicator: If micromanagement persists despite your efforts, it can be detrimental to your growth and morale.

4. They tell you to do unnecessary, tedious work

Your Response:

  • Seek Understanding: Ask how the task aligns with broader team goals.
    Shari Says: Sometimes the purpose isn’t immediately clear. It’s best to talk to your manager to get clarity.
  • Negotiate Tasks: Offer to take on tasks that better match your skills and contribute more significantly to team goals.
  • Prioritize Efficiently: Manage your time by prioritizing tasks that have the most impact.

Exit Indicator: If you’re consistently assigned low-value tasks that impede your professional development, it’s a red flag.

5. They constantly cancel and reschedule meetings with you

Your Response:

  • Stay Flexible: Be adaptable but document all canceled and rescheduled meetings.
  • Request Alternatives: Suggest alternative ways to communicate if face-to-face meetings are difficult to schedule.
  • Follow Up: Use email or other tools to ensure important discussions still happen despite the rescheduling.

Exit Indicator: Persistent cancellations without valid reasons show a lack of respect for your time.
Shari Says: Sometimes it could be a lack of time management on the part of your manager. Ensure that it doesn’t affect the delivery of your tasks and they are in the loop on all important aspects of your job.

6. You have to chase them down for answers and approval

Your Response:

  • Be Proactive: Anticipate needs and prepare all necessary information before seeking approval.
  • Set Expectations: Clearly outline the timelines and consequences of delays.
  • Escalate if Necessary: If delays impact your work significantly, escalate the issue to higher management.

Exit Indicator: If this behavior severely impacts your ability to perform and grow, it might be time to consider leaving.

Shari Says: Or seek a conversation with the HR or the higher management to either reassign you to a different team or manager.

7. They dismiss your questions and concerns

Your Response:

  • Be Persistent: Politely insist on answers and address concerns repeatedly.
  • Document Everything: Keep records of all dismissed concerns for future reference.
  • Seek Allies: Find colleagues who might share your concerns and can support you in bringing them up.

Exit Indicator: Consistent dismissal of your concerns is a serious issue that warrants reconsideration of your position.

What to do and When to Exit

Talking about it needs to be your first and maybe even your second step, if it doesn’t work the first time. After all, you must practice people-first strategies even if they are not being practiced on you. 

The Platinum rule is to treat others as they want to be treated, and is better than the Golden Rule in today’s world. (The Golden Rule was to treat people as you want to be treated). 

Work to ask for time to talk, show up ready in your reviews and for participation in projects. Make sure you are stepping in sync with your values.

However, if it is unresolvable there is another step you may need to take. Knowing when to leave is crucial. 

If multiple signs persist despite your best efforts, it’s time to prioritize your well-being and career progression. A respectful and supportive work environment is essential for your success. Don’t hesitate to explore new opportunities where you feel valued and respected.

Remember, it’s not just about surviving a toxic environment, but thriving in a place where your contributions are valued.

Have you ever faced disrespect from a manager?

Share your experience (positive or negative) – email me directly at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you and offer some personalized advice!

Out of all the responses, I’ll choose five to analyze in an upcoming blog post, offering specific strategies to address the situation.


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