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Middle management responsibilities vary in different industries but the core function of this role includes overseeing employees and enacting direction from executives. Both of these organizational functions require finely-tuned internal communication or progress stops. This hitch in advancement is called the frozen middle.

The frozen middle is a common corporate stereotype that depicts middle managers as unmotivated and slow to change. Managers with this nickname might receive a vision from upper management and choose to under-communicate it to subordinates or they might push back to any change. Though these managers certainly exist, for so many organizations, ineffective middle management is less of a personnel issue and more of a company-wide internal communication problem.

Whether you are a middle manager, an executive, or even an intern, and recognize that the middle in your company is frozen, reference this visual from JobHero for some strategies to fix this communication dilemma. Simple changes like asking for upward and downward feedback or highlighting a communication gap could help you thaw the frozen middle and push forward in your company.