By definition “managing your boss” means to effectively work with your superiors to bring out the very best results for them, for your firm and for yourself.
It is the desire to create a triple win for all involved.
If you work a 9 -5, that means you spend most of your waking hours at work. And if you have a less than satisfactory relationship with your boss at work, then those long hours will be very stressful.
You can decide to tough it out and endure, but your work will suffer as a result, and your career may stagnate. Or you can try to manipulate and deceive, which comes at a tremendous ethical cost and won’t work in the long run.
So, what should you do?
My wife once told me, “I do care about other people at work but my priority is my boss when he needs something done, I get it done as fast as I could”.
We all have had bosses! Some of us still have bosses. We love them, hate them or simply tolerate them!
Management is taught in training after training how to lead and manage their employees. However, is there a concept of leading and managing your boss? We know that there is!
The problem, of course, is that we are dealing with people, and in all cases, this means dealing with everyone’s strengths, stress points, weaknesses, shortcomings, and personalities. A very tall order!
To successfully manage your boss, you need to arm yourself with emotional intelligence and some invaluable soft skills.
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Here are the 10 Rules for Managing Your Boss:
Offer Solutions to Problems
Challenges are bound to rise up in the workplace. But how you handle it will go a long way to define the sort of worker you are. Never present a problem or challenge to your boss without a workable solution to fix it and don’t come to your boss for the smallest problem that you could solve yourself.
Everyone, including your boss, will love a solution to problems.
If you are seen as the best problem solver in your department, your boss will have no option than to rely on you heavily. Naturally, this will make him appraise you better and ease your relationship.
Communicate in His Language
Learn the way your supervisor communicates. Each individual has a unique style of communicating. Some people, for example, may prefer to talk things over in a meeting while others will prefer an email. Some people may love to throw open a problem for discussion while some will prefer to mull over it in solitude.
Communicating with your boss just the way he likes is a great hack that will endear you to him. The more you study their style and tailor your communication accordingly, the more they are open to listening to you and appreciating your contributions.
When you study and understand how your boss talk, you can adapt your solutions to his language. Use affirmative and positive words and phrases and do not always point out what’s wrong with a co-worker’s work. It’s what you say.
Know Yourself and Understand Your Boss’ Behavior
Everyone has strengths, stress points, weaknesses, and needs. This is not only true in the business environment, but it transcends into the personal lives of everyone at work.
The best way to do this is first to know thyself and then know your boss. You have to understand your strengths, stress points, weaknesses, and needs.
Managing your boss effectively means you need to understand your bosses’ strengths, stress points, weaknesses, and needs.
As much as possible don’t wait until there’s a problem. If your boss is that type of boss who likes an early heads-up on work-related issues, make sure to let him know ASAP.
When all around you is chaos, it is vital that you maintain your calm and keep a cool head. To stand out when everything is falling apart all around you requires some degree of cool-headedness and calm.
While every other person is panicking and running around like a headless chicken, you gain an advantage as the one who remained reasonable and thus more equipped to provide valuable solutions.
Staying calm and cool is possible in stressful workplace situations. Try to stay as positive as you can by changing the way you think of a situation.
Naturally, your boss will look for you in times of crisis.
Take Ownership in Your Work
When you are accountable for all your decisions and actions, your worth will increase. Admit when you go wrong and proffer solutions to make the situation better and prevent a recurrence. Taking responsibility for your actions is an essential part of a healthy work environment. It’s difficult to come across individuals who are accountable, and this makes it such a valuable quality.
In the normal course of work, things sometimes go wrong. Resist the temptation to pass the buck. Even if your subordinate committed the mistake, so long as it happened within your purview, try not to let yourself off the hook.
Excuses make you look weak, and your boss doesn’t really care about them. Be accountable and own up to issues while making efforts to make amends.
Know Your Manager’s Expectations of You
How is your performance on the job being appraised by your boss?
Does he consider you as just a fifth wheel in your efficiently run organization?
Expectations are very important in the workplace and the key to meeting your boss’s expectations of you is to maintain good communication. Try to discuss your performance on the job at least once a month to help you direct your focus to align with what he deems important for the group.
If you’re a new employee, make sure to know what your boss expects of you. Knowing what’s expected of you is necessary to be successful in the workplace and this rule applies to all employees, not just you. It is unfortunate that according to a Gallup study, only 50% of workers know what’s expected of them at work.
Putting in your best along this line will make you a much-valued employee in his eyes.
This one is obvious. If your performance on the job is sub-par, no amount of strategy can help you manage your boss effectively.
Once you have your boss’s expectations clearly spelled out for you, it’s time to put in the work required. Not in some lackluster just-do-what-is-expected way, but you must endeavor to meet all your key performance indices and surpass them. A good boss usually wants their employees to know their jobs and what’s expected of them.
However, if you’re unable to surpass those goals for some reasons, seek help and also improve yourself through relevant training.
Nothing will enhance the working relationship with your boss and advance your career more than a track record of on-the-job success. In short, get the job done and do it well.
Enhance His Image
Always make your boss look good. Especially when your department is not performing to expectation. Honestly rally your team around him and see how you can shore up his position. When you help him save face or even his job, you’ve sown a seed and enhanced your value in his eyes.
Support your boss but don’t be an ass-kisser. Honestly and professionally show your support.
Your goal is to make your boss more successful instead of yourself alone. By doing so, you will grow professionally and as part of a workplace team and bosses love team players.
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships. Michael Jordan
No matter the work condition, breathe and walk positivity. Where others rant and complain against restrictions and challenges, concentrate on a walk-around.
Constant complaining is not healthy and toxic to the workplace and bosses doesn’t like employees who always complains. If you want to express dissatisfaction about something, try to put a smile in your face and make it sound like you’re not complaining. Better yet, schedule a one-on-one meeting.
Being the one who always remains upbeat and find detours to roadblock sets you apart and increases your value as a team member.
It is important to be true to yourself at work because it is impossible for you to be happy at work if you’re not. Don’t be afraid to speak up! You will not only gain respect from your co-workers but most importantly from your boss as well and most likely your boss will like you for being you.
Being yourself at work generates trust among co-workers and smart bosses usually recognize this.
Be confident in who you are. Bottom line, bosses like confident and honest employees.
Our jobs can excite us, depress us, and make us happy or stressed. It depends on our attitude and our relationship with our co-workers.
However, the most important is our relationship with our boss. Your manager or supervisor has a lot to do with your job satisfaction and your long-term career growth according to recent studies. And, this still applies whether you love your boss or hate his guts.
This is why it’s critical to know and learn how managing your boss can help you in your career path and to simply be happy at work. In the end, it comes down to building a rapport with them where they rate you highly, find you reliable and trustworthy, advocate your cause, and help advance your career.