Building Relationships with Managers at Work

Do you realize that building relationships with managers at work is critical to success in the workplace? No matter what level you’re at in the business world, forming valuable relationships with management should be a priority. Doing so can help you gain their trust, earn their respect, and influence their decisions. It’ll also give you an opportunity to impact and help improve team communications. Here, we’ll explore what it takes to establish good relationships with managers.

Benefits of Building Relationships with Managers at Work

  • Gain Trust and Respect from Your Manager
  • Influence Decisions and Outcomes
  • Improve Communication and Collaboration
  • Receive Mentorship and Guidance
  • Enhance Job Satisfaction and Performance

Building a strong relationship with your manager helps you earn their trust and respect. When your manager trusts you, they’re more likely to consider your input and feedback when it comes to making decisions. Such relationships give you the opportunity to influence management decisions and impact team performance and outcomes.

One of the biggest benefits gained from building relationships with managers at work is enhanced communication. Communication improves not only between you and your manager but also within your team. It also helps with communication between your team, other departments, and senior management. More effective communication can also lead to better collaborative experiences for everyone.

Another key benefit you’ll enjoy by having a good relationship with your manager is valuable mentorship and guidance. Mentorship can help you develop yourself as a professional in your industry. Often, people find mentorship crucial when advancing their careers.

Lastly, you should know that forming relationships with management can enhance your job satisfaction and performance. If you’re happy in your role, you’re more prone to be successful in doing what you’re doing. You’re also likely to feel more committed to and invested in your company – giving you a greater sense of purpose within your organization.

Steps to Building Relationships with Managers at Work

  • Follow the Relationship Framework
  • Trust and Be Trusted
  • Listen and Communicate Effectively
  • Respectfully Ask Questions and Seek Guidance
  • Influence Through Ownership and Collaboration

At Echelon Front, we recognize that building relationships with senior management takes effort and intentionality. You can build a good relationship with your manager by following Echelon Front’s Relationship Framework of trust, listening, respect, and influence.


Put your trust in your manager’s experience. Trust that they’ll lead you through the twists and turns that come in business. In turn, you can earn their trust through consistent delivery and being reliable. Be a person of your word and someone they can expect to get things done.


Listen to your managers. Do what they ask you to do, and do it well. Seek out their guidance and follow their advice. Actively listen in meetings and thoroughly read emails to ensure you understand what they want from you. Use the [Readback] to show your manager that you are paying attention and want to be aligned with them.


Show your managers respect for their position in the organization and respect them for how far they’ve had to come to get to where they are today. One simple way of showing respect is by asking questions and seeking guidance. Asking questions shows that you respect their opinions and expertise. Seeking guidance and acting on that guidance shows that you’re willing to listen to them and that you want to be led by them.


Find opportunities to allow your manager to influence you. If you want to gain influence with your managers, you have to let them influence you. If they have feedback on a plan and it is remotely viable, incorporate it. If they want you to do something a certain way and it won’t cause harm to the team or the mission, do it. Even if it isn’t the absolute best solution. Then, when you need to push back on something that is mission-critical, they are more likely to be influenced by you because you rarely push back.

While we often talk about the Relationship Framework with leaders in mind, we recognize that a relationship is a two-way street. So, it’s important to note that the relationship framework is for everyone – both for the manager and those they manage.

Importance of Building Relationships Up the Chain of Command

  • Facilitates Better Communication and Collaboration
  • Builds Trust and Respect
  • Improves Overall Team Performance
  • Increases Leadership Effectiveness

Building relationships up the chain of command is critical for success in any organization. When relationships between managers and employees are strong, communication and collaboration improve. This then leads to better outcomes for the entire team. Additionally, building relationships with senior management at work can build trust and respect. That then results in greater buy-in and commitment to shared goals. Strong relationships up the chain of command can also improve overall team performance. Finally, building relationships with senior management increases leadership effectiveness because it helps you better understand their perspective.

One question we always ask our clients is – does it do you any good to have an antagonistic relationship with your manager? The answer is always no. Any relationship that isn’t as good as it should be hurts your team and your ability to be an effective leader.

Ready to Build Relationships with Your Manager?

Building relationships with managers at work is essential for success in any organization. Doing so can help you gain trust, be heard, earn respect, and find a place in the company where you can have some form of influence. One thing you’ll learn throughout your career is that the relationships you have with managers can make or break your effectiveness as a leader. If you want your team and your team’s mission to be successful, you have to have good relationships with your managers.

To help you build relationships with senior management, Echelon Front created a relationships course that is out now! And make sure you, check out our leadership courses; they can serve as a foundation for building good relationships with management.

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