Below you will find some suggestions that we believe may improve your relationship with your boss, or at least help you understand them better.
- Keep in mind that your boss may be of help sometimes. Whether your boss has good management skills or not; he may have insightful advice for you to utilize on the job. There's much to learn from a bad boss- just remember, odds are they didn't get their job simply from their looks. Even the worst of bosses have word of wisdom or two.
- Know and understand your boss's expectations. Your relationship is symbiotic- meaning that if you're successful in your job, so is your boss. Both of you rely on each other to accomplish tasks at hand, and your boss may have his/her boss come down on them if you fail to meet goals that were established. And we all know where the ax is going to fall if that happens- right at your neck.
- Meet your boss's expectations. Tip number two and this one go hand in hand. If you fail to accomplish the goals and objectives your boss has placed upon you, you have no one to blame but yourself. If the task is too obtuse for one person to handle or the assignment is unrealistic in nature, it's up to you to approach your boss, enlighten him/her on your predicament, and either suggest an alternative or ask for advice on how to complete your job. Bosses across the nation would never begrudge an employee for occasionally checking on their performance status. It's a great way to find out if you're performing where your boss needs you to be.
- Keep yourself squared away. Bosses hate nothing more than an employee that's high maintenance. They will grow to question your ability and skill if they have to check your work continuously. They'd appreciate an employee they can depend on in a crunch, and understand if you make the occasional mishap- it's going to happen and does so to everyone. Be the employee who doesn't need to be told what to do at every turn, and take responsibility for achievements as well as trouble areas.
- Be up front with your boss. If you've made an error or totally tanked on a project, then fess up immediately with a plan of action to rectify the problem if possible. You don't want the news to reach them from one of your co-workers; or even worse- their boss or a client. This also applies to successful tasks and good news that will improve your boss's job and work.
- Give your boss "props" in your success. When you receive accommodations for work well done, it's not the time to say that you worked damn hard with no thanks to your boss. Recognize them for their contributing factor in your triumph- even if it was so minute you can't recognize it. If your boss is truly the ogre who barks commands and never lifts a finger to help, then now is not the time to address that.
- Don't get personally involved in your work. Easier said than done for some of us. However, when your work gets criticized you take it as a personal attack. By allowing your personal feelings to take over your professionalism, your work may start to lack- you may question your ability and produce less than stellar work. Just remember, your boss's success is directly linked to your getting the job done right and competently. Not all bosses are able to recognize this, but they wouldn't assign something to you they didn't think you could accomplish. So, get it done right the first time- just the way they want it.
- Don't make your boss look bad. Upstaging them is one of the quickest ways to professional suicide. Correcting them in public as well as pointing out their faults will lead them to resent you. If they believe they misspoke during a presentation, but truly haven't, then you can point out that they were correct the first time. Any other situation could land you in hot water.
- Handle your boss if needed. It's horrible to think that you may have to manage or handle your boss, but it happens a lot. It's a definite if you're looking to climb the ladder quicker then most. Manipulation in the good of the job isn't the most professional method to get what you want. But folks do it everyday- especially if their boss is less than desirable. What's better is to take the initiative, look for opportunities that will pull you away from the rest of the pack. Suggest a new S.O.P. and explain how it would benefit the business as a whole. Go further in asking his assistance to redirect upper management from saying no until you can prove it's successful. This way your keeping the boss in the loop even you if really aren't.