In your career, there is only one other person aside from yourself who can make or break you – your boss! If you have any plans at all to move forward in your professional life, you must nurture a harmonious, effective relationship with your superior. This kind of relationship is imperative as it will serve as a gateway for you to advance in whatever your profession may be. So how do you create a strong relationship with your boss? For starters, take to heart the following tips:
1) Take care of the basics.
This might be too obvious, but a lot of people neglect the basics in their eagerness to gain approval in other ways. As a result, they earn a few points for their miscellaneous achievements and get a lot of demerits for not delivering the most fundamental of tasks. So what are the most basic things expected of you? For starters, you should always be on time (or early) for work. This sends the message that you can be trusted and relied upon. A habitual latecomer, on the other hand, will accomplish nothing but the disapproval of his co-workers and the management. You definitely do not want that to happen. Otherwise, you can forget about nurturing a strong relationship with your boss.
2) Be knowledgeable about your manager’s communication style.
A strong relationship isn’t possible without effective communication. As early as the first few days on the job, you should be able to determine what method of communication your boss prefers. If you aren’t too sure, it’s best if you ask him outright. Does he think emails suffice? Does he want to get updates through mobile phone? Or does he prefer to communicate in person? The answers to these will get you started on figuring out your manager’s preferred communication methods. Also, try to observe your boss closely to determine what style he favors when communicating. Does he sit back and listen to you passively? Does he fire one question after the other while you’re in the middle of talking? Does he only want the essential details or does he expect the full account? Once you’re familiar with how your boss communicates, you’ll be able to relate to him appropriately.
3) Exceed expectations.
Don’t expect any accolades if you get your job done. That is, after all, what you’re paid to do. Accomplishing your responsibilities and duties doesn’t make you a cut above the rest because everyone’s also aiming to perform his own share of obligations. However, your boss will certainly appreciate it if you go beyond what’s expected of you. Don’t just do your job; go above and beyond it. Volunteer to take on projects. Show your initiative by coming up with better ways to get things done. Things like these will show your boss that you’re a proactive employee who doesn’t limit his efforts to just his job description. Going the extra mile will go a long way towards strengthening your ties with the upper management.
4) Keep your goals in line with your boss’ and the company’s.
When you’re working for a company, it isn’t all about YOU. You may have goals for yourself and your career, but it would be best if those goals are in accordance with what the management wants to attain as well. Work towards your goals and theirs. Find out what your superior aims to accomplish, and lighten his load. It would also be really helpful if you have a strong understanding of your boss’ priorities. What may seem inconsequential to you might be his topmost priority, so it’s best if you can figure out what he thinks is the most important. You’re working in a team, and helping your boss achieve his professional goals will straighten the path to a stronger relationship with him.
5) Be compliant.
Some overly ambitious employees have the desire to appear better than their boss. They try to outshine their superiors and do anything to make them look bad. This is definitely a no-no for someone who wants to develop and maintain an effective relationship with his manager. Aim to make your boss look good by being compliant and doing your job extraordinarily well. Avoid taking steps that may be construed as insubordination. If you’re asked to do something that doesn’t seem to fit your job description, don’t automatically turn the opportunity down. As time passes, you have to expect that there will be new obligations and responsibilities entrusted to you. If you feel you aren’t happy with what you’re doing, then set up a meeting to discuss these new tasks. The most important thing here is to communicate. Who knows? Maybe those unfamiliar duties and tasks were assigned to you to prepare you for a better and higher position.
6) Respect deadlines.
Excuses aren’t worth the time you took to think of them. Not only does your supervisor hate excuses, but he also doesn’t have the time (or energy) to listen to them. Constantly failing to deliver the required results on time will land you in deep trouble with your boss and will earn you the disapproval of everyone. You may be at fault here, but everyone involved in the project might face unpleasant consequences as a result of your incompetency. So instead of coming up with creative justifications of why you can’t meet the deadline, you should just use the time to work on what has been assigned.
7) Ask him for questions and suggestions on how you can improve.
Your boss didn’t get to where he is right now if he didn’t have something to commend him. Learn all you can from your boss by asking questions, getting suggestions, and simply observing his strategies and approach. Your boss has a lot of things he can teach you, and if you’re eager to learn, the number of valuable lessons you’ll pick up will be innumerable. Also, don’t wait until your quarterly or biannual performance report to find out how well you’re doing. Ask your manager for feedback on your performance so you can work on being even better. Such actions will convince your boss that you’re someone who’s willing to learn and improve, and that will fortify your ties with him.
A strong relationship with your boss doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires time, effort, patience, devotion, and a whole lot more. Yet, if you work on it little by little, you’ll find that the strong relationship you’ve developed is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears you put into it.