Sure you get to call the shots, but they aren’t always popular nor appreciated. If you are a leader (like many of you are who read this blog), you get it. But if you are a leader, what about your leader – your boss? Is he or she feeling the same things you do from time to time – you bet!
Most people think a generic card with a gift might do the trick on their bosses birthday. And others believe if they just do their job that will make them happy. I won’t argue with either of those two, but the reality is bosses are people too. And as people they want to feel valued beyond that.
When is the last time you hugged your boss? No, not literally – that might be a little creepy. But when is the last time you showed him or her love, value and appreciation? Here are five things you can start doing now to make them happy all year long :).
1. Take an Interest. Many bosses spend time getting to know their team, but few on the team take the time to get to know their leader.
It is human nature to want people to take an interest in us. Taking an interest in your manager says you care, just as it does when you take an interest in those you lead. It also might very well surprise you how taking an interest in your bosses background, family and life helps you understand why they do some of the things they do.
2. Be Happy. People like happy people, including bosses. And happy people tend to make those around them happier. Don’t be a drag or a burden. Instead have a positive attitude, look to lift others up and inspire.
When you communicate with your boss, do it with a smile. The more cheerful you are in doing your job the greater cheer you will bring to others. I realize not every boss is great, but greatness can start with you and move up from there – think about it 🙂
3. Recognize and Appreciate. My experience has been that most bosses are rarely recognized and appreciated from those they lead. It’s as if they should magically know how their team feels about them.
I have written quite a few posts in the past on how to help employees feel valued. What about bosses? All of us need a positive word or two from time to time. When is the last time you shared with your boss what they do for you and what you appreciate about them? When is the last time your team spent time in a meeting expressing how valued your leader is to them?
Years ago as a leader of a rather large church congregation, I created what I called my “positive folder.” Every time someone would write a nice note, letter or card I would file it away. When I was down or feeling a little lonely I would pull those notes out to help me realize that people did appreciate me. It is important.
4. Empathize. Their job is hard too. Have you taken a few minutes recently to think about the types of decisions they have to make and burdens they carry?
Any time we put ourselves in the shoes of another we find ways to help. Coming from a place of understanding and helpfulness will strengthen your relationship with your leader. Try it!
5. Don’t Whine. Nobody likes to hear a whiner. Instead of whining, come to your boss with solutions to problems.
And to take it even a step further, instead of coming to them with solutions, come to them with the problem already solved. For example, let’s say your department waits way too long on another department to get something done before you can complete your part, and as a result your productivity numbers are slipping. Don’t whine about it or even come with a solution, instead set up a meeting with that department, talk about a solution, and get it worked out and then come to your boss with the problem fixed.
Not only will this elevate your status in your bosses eyes, but it also shows you value their time enough not to burden them with more problems to solve. Note: I realize there are legitimate whines and problems that need solving that you have to discuss with your manager. But where you can solve it, do.
The boss and employee relationship is a unique one. Like any relationship it needs nourishing as well. Take the time to implement all five of the tips above regularly and you will find the relationship with your boss improving in remarkable ways!
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