Your work relationship with your boss is one of reciprocity. You’re responsible for improving your boss’s position and they’re also responsible for aiding you. You should look at your boss as a resource and draw on them for support. They expect the same from you, and you need to deliver your best work.
However, it’s not always easy to work with your boss. Sometimes your manager can be overwhelmed, distracted, or simply not the greatest at prioritizing and delegating.
In situations like this it becomes crucial for you to learn how to manage your boss. Read these tips to help you learn how best to work with your boss.
1. Find their strengths and encourage them
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to people’s strengths, they also tend to enjoy those tasks best. Try to observe your boss’s strengths and then encourage them to pursue tasks in that realm. This doesn’t mean sucking up to your boss, rather just be a nice person and acknowledge what they’re good at.
2. Communicate efficiently
When speaking with your boss, try to be as concise as possible. Don’t think aloud to them, but rather have your questions, comments, and other information formulated into clear and short sentences before relaying them to your boss. Being as clear as possible will make their job easier, and therefore make things easier for you too.
3. Predict needs
This can be tricky, but after working with your boss for a little while, you’ll be able to predict their needs. If you see something that needs fixing, fix it. Take initiative and solve problems before they arise.
4. Build your relationship
Try to build a rapport with your boss. Establishing a professional level of comfort between the two of you will make communicating easier, and will alleviate stress and anxiety when you interact.
5. Understand how your boss thinks
Getting in the same mindset of your boss will help you learn how to best encourage them and react to them. You can avoid things that you know bother them and know how to anticipate their moods and needs. It will be helpful to know how they prioritize and what pace they work at. This will help you know how to prioritize your own tasks and fill in work that needs to be completed.
6. Voice a disagreement
You were hired for a reason—your boss respects you and believes you’re a capable worker. So if you have a bad feeling about a decision, then make it known. Just be sure that you do so respectfully and tactfully. However…
7. Implement whatever decision they make, even if you disagree
When all is said and done, they’re the boss. Even if you don’t think that they made the best choice, you shouldn’t argue. Rather you should try your best to follow through on their decision and make it the best you can.
8. Be prepared
Don’t waste time by going to a meeting unprepared. Have your reports complete and your goals for moving forward ready to discuss. If you have any questions, write them down ahead of time.
9. Be positive and have solutions
It’s important to remain cool and collected, even if your boss is under a lot of pressure. Try to stay positive even if they or your coworkers complain. Rather, focus on finding solutions.
When you’re working with a tough boss who’s either distracted or under a lot of pressure, it can be difficult to tactfully work together. It helps to be skilled at managing up. Hopefully these tips will help you navigate a tough situation and improve your work. Even if you have a great boss, these tips can bolster your communication skills and work efficiency when it comes to collaborating with your boss, and learning how to motivate people will serve you throughout your life.
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