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If your manager appears to be informal, remember that this is part of American business culture.
The appearance of informality is a modern cultural way to encourage creative productivity. Your manager wants to know your ideas and those of your coworkers because these may help the company move forward.
Once again, in the American office, you are walking the fine line between being informal and formal. You make small talk with the manager about everyday things. You may have some ongoing work-team jokes. However, when a decision has been made by the manager, you prove your worth by supporting the decision.
Often, there are people in the workplace who, for whatever reason, thrive on gossip. In an office environment, decisions can be the best food for wagging tongues. You want to stay aloof of these conversations without causing people to dislike you. You can remain mostly silent and put in a few neutral comments or say something humorous which also changes the subject. Find a socially wise method to avoid criticizing your manager.
Remember this: the best employee is one who decreases the level of work for the manager. This does not always mean working long hours. You can also prove yourself to be an asset by contributing to an efficient and positive team.
If you do not like your manager and feel that there is nothing you can do to improve your work team, you should begin looking for a new job. At that point, there is a good probability that your manager is having the same uncertain feeling about you.
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