Managing Your Boss

Does doing a good or even a great job at work mean you will get that promotion or pay rise? Or is there more to it?  In today’s competitive job market the success of your future career depends upon not only how well you excel or how you market yourself internally but how good you make your our boss look.

Over 30 years ago John Gabarro & John Kotter introduced the business world to a whole new powerful dynamic between the manager – boss relationship. They discovered the mutual dependence of both parties.   Gabarro and Kotter turned the long held belief that management happened from the top down, on its head and recognised that whilst bosses need productivity, honesty, cooperation and reliability from their direct reports, managers needed their bosses to help them network and build connections throughout the organisation as well as assistance obtaining resources and assistance setting priorities.

Recent studies have shown the most effective mangers are those who not only seek to build strong relationships with the members of their teams but with their bosses too.

Here is Happening Peoples Top 5 on Managing your Boss!

Know Them
Know your boss’s style of Management. Know how they like to work, find out what their goals and work pressures are.  Find out their blind spots, their strengths and weaknesses.  Most of this can be found out by simply sitting down with them and asking.  You can glean the rest of it by observing them in different situations, take note of what annoys them, what makes them happy and what motivates them.

You may need to adjust your style to accommodate theirs but a good working relationship is a harmonious relationship.

Know what they want
A manager who thinks they know what their boss wants and blindly goes about delivering this is headed for disaster!  Some bosses clearly spell out their expectations but many do not. Whilst your organisation may have a performance review program which facilitates this airing of expectations these systems are not perfect and in the time between reviews many changes can happen and communication of expectations is lost along the way.  If you are working for a boss who is not explicit about what they want from you, find away to get it?  Maybe you need to detail a memo outlining what you believe the expectations are and follow it up face-to-face for clarification.  You could also initiate informal meetings and ask your boss for feedback.

Build a real relationship
Opposites attract but common interests build relationships! Find out what your bosses interests are and join in– you don’t need to become a raving fanatical fan but if soccer is all your boss wants to talk about outside of work it’s a good idea to keep tabs on it so you can join in the conversation.

Remind them how good you are!
More than likely your boss has more than just you to manage.  More than likely you, your boss and your co-workers are moving at a frantic pace.  You may work remotely, your car might be your office, as such face-to-face time with your boss is limited. The old saying out of sight, out of mind applies here.  If this is the case you need to find creative ways of reminding your boss just how good you are.  You could send an email weekly highlighting your achievements.  You could organise an early morning catch-up coffee with your boss once a fortnight. But remember you can’t expect your boss to accelerate your career, ultimately it is up to you.  If you still aren’t getting the ‘love’ you need from your boss – make sure you toot your horn to others along the chain.

Make their life easy
Your boss is under pressure from their boss to succeed. They are seeking solutions to the problems they face.  If you add to their pressures unnecessarily they are going to view you as part of the problem. Gabarro and Kotter remind us that you are just as instrumental in ensuring your bosses success as they are yours.  A simple yet powerful notion is to remember, in everything you do don’t be the problem, be the solution.

Managing relationships within your business takes skill and training.  Happening People can help you and your team build rewarding relationships and powerful partnerships


1 Comment

Filed under Professional Development

One response to “Managing Your Boss

  1. great post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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