Want to Be the Boss’s Favorite? Here’s How
No one has a bigger impact on your career than your direct supervisor (other than yourself, of course!). That’s why it’s critical that you build a strong relationship that ensures your boss is on your side. We understand that this is easier to do with some bosses than others. But we guarantee that no matter what your boss is like, if you follow these five steps, your relationship with your boss will be stronger than ever before!
1. Find out your boss’s priorities and objectives
If you don’t know what your supervisor is trying to accomplish, how can you make sure that you’re helping? Knowing your boss’s objectives and priorities is the most crucial step to building a strong relationship. If you’re working on multiple projects, make sure you know exactly which ones are most important to your supervisor and prioritize your time appropriately.
2. Proactively adapt to your boss’s management style
It can be a challenge working with someone whose work and management style is the complete opposite of your own! If you love a lot of autonomy and your boss is a micro-manager, it can be stressful for you both. It can be just as stressful if you prefer a ton of direction and feedback but your supervisor just wants to be able to hand you a project and know that it’ll get completed. Once you’ve identified your boss’s style, accept that he or she probably isn’t going to change dramatically. So be as flexible as you can to show support for your boss’s preferred working style.
3. Don’t hand your boss problems—hand him or her solutions!
If you’re seeing something funny in the data, don’t just pass the problem along to your boss. See if you can’t diagnose the problem and fix it. Then tell you boss that a problem occurred but you fixed it, and so no one need worry about it. If you are noticing a potential roadblock on a project, bring it up—and suggest a couple of ways to go around. The more your boss can depend on you to be a problem solver rather than a person who passes along problems, the better.
4. Build your skills to complement your boss’s
This is a fantastic key to developing a strong working partnership with your boss! Is your boss a big-picture sort of person? Be the one who knows all the details. If your boss isn’t a people person, then focus on developing strong working relationships with employees in other departments. When you can shore up any weaknesses in your boss’s style, together you become a more effective and powerful team.
5. Go above and beyond whenever you can
Find opportunities to go above and beyond. Initiative matters more than you know. In fact, many managers are desperately wishing and hoping that their employees could just put in that little extra to relieve them of their heavy load. Not sure what else you could be doing to help your boss? The easiest way to find out is just ask. Your boss will appreciate your desire to do all you can.