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Managing Your Boss

Understanding your position power in your personal power and developing your organizational influence is critically important to your success. Perhaps this is the most important thing in your working relationship with your boss.

Finding out what makes your boss tick

Start by assessing the quality of your current working relationship with your boss.  Our research shows that people are generally quick to assess working relationships with peers and subordinates, but people often fail to see the value in assessing their working relationship with their boss.

Taking the time to understand what is working well and what needs work is an important first step towards managing your boss.  Here are some important questions to guide your assessment:

  • What is your boss do that helps your productivity?
  • What is your boss to that hurts your productivity?
  • What you need from your boss that you’re not getting?
  • What specific things are needed to improve the overall quality of your working relationship?

Answering these questions will give you a starting point for developing your improvement plan to better influence your boss.

Work hard to get to know and understand your boss you and your boss are linked together whether you like it or not so it’s really important to pay attention to: how he or she operates, what motivates your boss, what are your bosses likes and dislikes, how emotionally intelligent is your boss and does your boss have any personality quirks or idiosyncrasies that you need to take into account in working with him or her.

Possessing this information should put you in a better position to use your own emotional intelligence to find more effective ways to communicate and interact with them.

Put yourself in your bosses shoes

Find out your bosses performance goals and what your organization needs and expects from your boss. It’s important to understand the challenges and pressures your boss faces on the job and these things can potentially impact you and your fellow coworkers.

When you know your boss has overly aggressive goals to meet too much on his or her plate resource shortages unrealistic timelines or maybe even a bad boss to work with themselves it can make you much more empathetic and puts you in a better position to offer help.

Remember it’s important for you and your boss to be on the same page and to pursue success together, help your boss clarify exactly what your job entails and what results are needed from you to help your boss be successful.

When bosses are extremely busy it’s not uncommon to find drift between the boss’s expectations and the employee’s performance expectations as well as a different view on what priorities need to be. While performance planning sessions are important it’s a great practice to regularly create a list of all the things you’re currently working on and the results are pursuing for your boss to review.

Schedule a meeting with your boss

You want to make sure that you are successful in your job by the standards that your boss is using because if you are your success will continue to contribute greatly to your bosses success and make sure your boss clearly understands that linkage.

Here’s another tip make it a practice to under promise and over deliver. Most bosses appreciate when their people exceed expectations whether it’s meeting the deadline for an important project, solving a customer problem or hitting an important goal. Your long-term career success is contingent on developing a track record of consistently delivering desired results.

So when you deliver what your boss expects on an ongoing basis or maybe even better yet more than your boss expects it establishes your credibility as someone your boss can depend on and there’s lots of research that makes it perfectly clear that once someone depends on us our influence with them increases quickly.  It’s so important to learn how to communicate with your bosses well and keep your boss informed.

The important point is you understand how to proactively interact with your boss in a fashion that your boss prefers at times that increase the likelihood of effective interactions and knowing the best and worst times to interact with your boss can be a real game changer.

If you develop a more solid working relationship with your boss it will help your boss help you when you need his or her assistance. The better your working relationship is with your boss the stronger your track record and the more your boss trust you the easier it will be to ask for your bosses help input resources and guidance.

Always show respect for your boss

Don’t engage in gossip backbiting or making your boss look bad behind his or her back, lots of people at work lead dual lives and have multiple personalities when it comes to their bosses.

To the bosses face their upbeat compliant obedient obliging, accommodating, helpful and even openly respectful, yet behind the bosses back they just might be the exact opposite. They might make fun of their boss or mock him or her or demonstrate open contempt and resentment.

If your boss puts you in a place were coming to work is more stressful and unproductive than it need be then it just might be time to consider leaving and if your boss is prone to extreme uncontrollable mood swings has a destructive personality or is engaged in unscrupulous activity it’s time to go.

But for most of us taking proactive steps to help our boss help us is simply a good thing to do and taking the time to understand our relationships.