Creating a successful partnership with your boss is a sure recipe for a healthy and productive working relationship! Of course, this is often easier said than done. Over the years, I’ve learned some fairly easy ways to keep me on track; tools that I hope will help you too as you develop a healthy and dynamic relationship with your superior.
1. Make sure you know your boss!
Ask him or her questions about their background and family. Remember, by sharing information beyond just the job, we learn much about an individual’s communication style and temperament.
2. Get on the same page as your boss!
By being on the same page – and acting professionally – you are fostering good-will (and a good attitude). Don’t fight things beyond your control. You will quickly see that this simple shift in thinking will go a long way in getting tasks and projects accomplished.
3. Ask questions!
If you’re a big picture person, details may escape you from time to time. Or if your style differs from your boss, it’s important to understand where your style varies in order to make sure that expectations are met and that you have a relevant and timely conversation about staying on track and meeting goals.
Of course, we’ve been trained to prioritize daily, weekly, monthly and so on, but that’s not the prioritization I’m referring to. Are you including your boss on your prioritization? Is he or she in line with your list of important concerns and goals? Remember, things will likely not get done without the approval and alignment of your superior, so by including him or her from the get-go, you will have a smoother way to achieve your goals.
5. Be proactive, not reactive!
By acknowledging a mistake or a project delay before your boss calls you on it, you’re taking responsibility and building bridges. By coming clean you’re showing your manager that you are aware, accountable, responsible and ready to deliver (albeit a day or two late).
6. Make your boss shine!
By now, you are aware of your boss’ shortcomings, and as a person ready to Manage Up, use your strengths to compliment his or her strengths and weaknesses. A united front can go a long way, especially if you remember that your boss is also managing up!