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How to stop being ignored at work

Today’s corporate world can be an incredibly frustrating place to be (hence why this blog has over 80 posts ranting about it!). Dysfunctional requirements, rubbish communication, crap meetings, unclear strategies and people stealing your milk are just part of the package these days. And as for relationships – argh, where to start….

Do you sometimes feel like you are being ignored? That you are not being involved in everything you should be? Do you ever spot duplication that could have been avoided if you knew about it earlier?

Well sorry to break it to you, but this could be your fault.

And I’m happy to break it to you, this is dead easy to resolve.

The common mistake I’m talking about is not managing your multi-directional office relationships.

What are multi-directional relationships?

  1. You have people you are more senior to

  2. You have people you are equal to

  3. You have people more senior to you

They all matter. What differs is simply the nature and focus of communication with each group, but they all deserve some of your attention.

With your juniors the focus should be on:

  1. Offering help

  2. Asking for help (when it presents a learning opportunity for them rather than you just needing a fresh cuppa)

  3. Providing clear direction

  4. Being encouraging

  5. Being honest

With your peers:

  1. Sharing information

  2. Collaborating to get stuff done

  3. Challenging each other

  4. Being honest

With your seniors:

  1. Providing regular status updates

  2. Escalating risks & issues

  3. Seeking clarity

  4. Being honest

You never know where you or these people will be in a few years.

ass kick

Your peers could become your seniors. Your juniors could become your peers. You could even be in a more senior position yourself.

So- on the flip side, what’s the risk of not engaging?


  1. Lack of motivation

  2. Waste

  3. Missed opportunities


  1. Missing information

  2. Lack of engagement

  3. Not being invited to the party

  4. Missed opportunities


  1. Overlooked for promotion

  2. Lack of recognition

  3. Lack of understanding of what you do (and yes this is your fault not thiers)

  4. Missed opportunities

[Tweet “Are you drifting along in your own bubble, or are you already managing all your relationships?”]

If there’s a gap, notice it, then sort it simply by taking time to engage with someone from all 3 groups everyday. They all matter.

Oh – and please don’t wait for one to one meetings, just communicate openly each day. Easy!

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