What’s your relationship with your boss like? As the most important relationship you have at work, you want to make it a good one. Not only will this make your life at work better, it will also put you in good stead for your future at the company. Your boss will be more than happy to consider you for a promotion when the time comes or support your application for alternate roles.
You have to be proactive when it comes to building a strong working relationship with your boss; you can't just do nothing and hope for the best or expect them to make all of the effort in making the relationship work, and you can’t assume you know what they are thinking.
Here are the top 3 tips for developing and maintaining a good working relationship with your boss:
1. Exceed expectations
The most simple and obvious way to get your boss to like you is to do the job they hired you for, and do it well. Always work hard to make a good impression on your boss and to make their job easier. Complete jobs ahead of schedule, stay late once in a while to complete a task, come up with new ideas for the business or take on new responsibilities. Little things like always arriving on time and dressing professionally will make a difference as well.
2. Communicate effectively and openly
If your boss has a lot of employees, it can be difficult for them to keep track of each one of them. Making the effort to keep your boss updated by arranging weekly or monthly meetings to discuss your progress and what you are working on will help to make their job much easier, whilst you get their continued buy-in. Never be too intimidated to talk to your boss or tell them what you think, even if it is to disagree with them on an idea they have; come to them with your opinion and suggested improvements or alternative ideas.
3. Make it personal
A strong working relationship should be a good balance of professional and personal. While you probably shouldn't become best friends with your boss, showing interest in their personal life and sharing aspects of yours will help to build a stronger relationship. Ask your boss about their family or how their weekend was; just avoid any topics that are too personal or controversial. You might even find that you have something in common.
For some employees, especially in large corporations, it is easy to see your boss just as the person who signs your pay check and sends work down the line, but extending the relationship beyond this can give a real boost to your on-the-job satisfaction.
Our career coaches work every day with executives and employees to strengthen their work relationships. What are you doing to build your relationship with your boss as you move forward in your career?