Like anyone else, I’m sure there are times you’d like to control your boss. That way, you could ensure you’d get what you want (at the very least, never be considered for a layoff).
Well good news, there are things you can do to build a relationship with your manager that will give you some power. Here are 10 tips to help you:
1. Make Your Boss’s Professional Goals Your Personal Agenda
A happy boss is one whose staff understands and supports what they are trying to accomplish. Every manager has a particular goal they want to achieve that they’ll be able to showcase as a professional accomplishment. Learn what your manager is trying to make happen and then do what you can to assist them.
2. Compliment Your Boss On His/Her Greatest Strengths
Managers like praise, too! Show them respect by pointing out what they are good at. Compliment them on how knowledgeable they are or how well they communicate with clients. When you praise them for specific skills actions, you are actually showing them you understand what it takes to be successful in their role. That recognition will not be forgotten!
3. Go The Extra Inch (Not Mile!) On Every Request
When your manager gives you a project or task, don’t just complete it on time and to specification, take it just a bit further by getting in done early or adding some finishing touches. This shows you want to please your manager, but you are mindful of not wasting your time going overboard.
4. Enthusiastically Volunteer For The Crappy Projects
Nothing says, “I’m a team player,” more than volunteering to do some aspect of the job that is no fun. Managers love people who are willing to take a headache off their plate and they NEVER forget the employee who saved them from having to force someone to do a job that wasn’t fun.
5. Be Your Boss’s “Vacation Salvation”
Managers often call in multiple times and end up working while on vacation. As soon as your boss announces he/she is taking time off, set a meeting and tell them you would love to cover for them. Offer to be the point person in the office for a daily call. Also offer to send an update e-mail at the end of every day they can check at their leisure.
When the manager calls in, reassure him/her that everything is going just fine and you have everything under control. Knowing there is someone there watching over things as they would makes their vacation enjoyable and their appreciation for you as their employee skyrocket.
6. Never Point Out A Problem Without A Solution To Go With It
Problems always arise that your manager needs to know about. Don’t be the barer of bad news without bringing some good news, too. Always present the problem and then suggest three options for solving it. Even if you don’t have the right solution, the fact you came prepared with ideas shows how much you want to help your boss solve it quickly and effectively.
Plus, if one of your ideas is the right idea, you’ll earn respect from your boss as someone who knows how to take charge and fix things. That’s the kind of person a manager likes to keep on their team.
7. Understand Your Role Is To Either Save And/Or Make Money
Given the current economy, there isn’t a manager out there who hasn’t had to consider who’d they would let go if required to make cuts. When they evaluate staff, it’s always based on who provides the most value. If you can’t more than justify your salary with the work you do, you are at risk. Make sure you boss clearly sees the correlation between your work and profitability for your department.
8. Avoid Surprising Your Boss At All Costs
Unexpected needs for time off, sudden problems you can’t handle, and out-of-the-blue requests for tools and resources are a real turn-off to managers. Like you, they hate surprises. Do whatever you can to avoid catching your boss off-guard. They’ll appreciate your consistency and respect greatly your reliability. Plus, on the rare occasion you do surprise them, they’ll remember it is the exception not the rule.
9. Remember Your Boss Is A Human Being
Like you, managers have bad days, problems with family, and financial woes. Just because they are the manager, make more money than you (sometimes they don’t!), or have some power, isn’t a reason to forget they have feelings.
Be sensitive to your boss when he/she is having an off-day and don’t be afraid to close the door and say, “I sense you are stressed today. Is there anything I can do?” While they probably will brush it off and say, “I’m fine,” they will not forget you cared enough to ask. Employees who care about their manager are employees a manager wants to keep around long-term.
10. Always Make Your Boss Feel Like The Boss
Your manager has the lead role. It comes with added responsibility and pressures that you do not have. Be mindful of how hard your boss’s job must be and make sure you articulate your respect for the job he/she has agreed to take on. While you may not like everything your boss does, and perhaps even you think you could do the job better, show your respect for the fact he/she is the one doing the job.
Even if your boss is the type that says he/she sees you as equals and wants you to feel like you have as much say as they do, the simple reality is it’s his/her reputation at stake if something goes wrong. So, be sure to say or do something on a regular basis that proves to your boss you appreciate his/her willingness to include you, but that you still know he/she is in charge.
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