5 Ways to Manage Your Boss – Managing a Boss 101
Last week I wrote a post titled Should You Manage Your Boss? 3 Reasons this is smart! In it I stated that managing your boss is smart because she deserves it, your team deserves it and you need it.
Here are my suggestions on the how. I don’t think anyone would argue it isn’t a smart thing to do. Managing your boss effectively means she is able to focus on the things that matter most. This is better for you, your team and the organization.
1. Take a genuine personal interest in your boss. People love people who care about them. Boss’s are no different. Building a solid relationship is one of the best things you can do for your team and for you.
Relationships are built on knowing more about each other. Ask what she did the last weekend. Ask about family photos in her office. Ask, ask again and keep on asking until you find things you have in common or that you find interesting and can talk about.
While good leaders understand they can’t be best friends with those they lead, they do appreciate deeper connections with those they manage. And a deeper connection is one important factor in trust.
Such a relationship will benefit you and your team in difficult times or when you are in need of something.
2. Understand the goals and hot buttons of your boss. Listen to the types of questions she asks or the types of concerns she expresses. Make note of these. Doing so will help you understand what she expects and what she worries about.
The better you understand her, the better you can anticipate things and address them before they are brought up later.
3. Market yourself and your team. One of the biggest missed opportunities I have seen as a consultant is the lack of marketing of an individual or teams successes. You must toot the teams horn once in a while. If you don’t, chances are nobody else will.
One thing important to do when marketing your team’s successes is to discuss how what they did directly impacted results. To say that you were successful is one thing. To state that you were successful and back it up with how it impacted results is powerful.
4. Be self-sufficient. Your boss has enough problems, try to avoid being one of them. Most boss’s appreciate an employee that can solve her own problems. Your time is 100% dedicated to you, don’t expect your boss’s time to be as well.
If you do have a problem that needs to be raised; come prepared with solutions.
5. Recognize. My experience has been that few managers get recognized by those they manage. Every boss needs to feel like he or she is doing a good job. Some of the most important recognition comes from those they manage. It is motivating to know that your team cares enough to recognize you.
On another note it is just as important to provide honest and genuine feedback on the performance of your boss when asked. She needs it just as much as you need it.
I am interested in hearing how you manage your boss or what you would add to this list. Please comment below. Thanks!
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