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I am not in marketing, but I came up with an idea that could help market our company's products. When I mentioned it at the end of a department meeting, my manager said I should worry about my own work and stay out of the business of other departments. How do you deal with this type of management style?

Your question focuses on management style, but you are actually encountering a complete lack of style. Your manager is essentially telling you to mind your own business. By doing so, he is crushing innovative thinking, teamwork, and employee involvement.

Your first step is to look at the big picture of your company. At one end of the continuum are the companies that have a culture that pigeonholes employees into slots. In these organizations, employees who dare to delve into other areas are stopped at once. At the opposite end of the continuum are the companies that have cultures that encourage communication, creativity, and cross pollination of ideas.

If you find that your manager's comments are indeed reflective of the company's culture, there is not much you can do. A company's culture is deeply ingrained, and changing it must come from the top, and that is not happening here. As a result, you will need to make some kind of a change for yourself.

However, if the culture supports your creativity, but your manager does not, then you should not abandon your ideas or ideals. Rather, you should continue to present your creative thoughts to significant others who may be interested. By doing so, you may find that they are interested not only in your ideas, but in you as well.

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