These four tips will help you become a better “boss manager” so that you can avoid unwanted problems and encourage a more cooperative, productive, and satisfying working relationship.
- Mimic their methods. Each of us has our own style when it comes to digesting information, expressing ourselves, or dealing with pressure. Some prefer bullet points, others want a white paper. You may like texting but your boss is more of a sticky-note guy. Observe your boss and figure out their approach. If you use a similar approach when interacting with them it enables you to speak the same language – and that can solve many communication problems.
- Think like a boss. Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and understand what things are like from their point of view. Learn to do that with your boss, so that you can anticipate their needs and respond with solutions before being asked. You’ll soon become indispensible and highly valued.
- Remember where you are. You have an argument with your spouse over money, and then your boss trims your budget and your emotions – and reactions – get confused. Don’t inject drama from outside. At work concentrate on being all business. Ask your boss to define your job description and then focus on being professional and doing it really well. That will cure lots of problems before they ever happen.
- Look to yourself for answers. When there’s a problem with your boss remember that it takes two to tango, so you are probably also at least partly to blame. Fix what you have control over by improving your own performance. Also be your own boss by taking the initiative. As long as you stay on task your boss will love the fact that you are a self-starter who doesn’t have to be micromanaged, and they’ll stop hovering over your desk.
Pay attention to the specific language your boss uses. Jot down verbs, adjectives, and business-speak buzzwords or phrases that they often repeat. Incorporate those same words into your vocabulary at work and they probably won’t consciously notice. But it will subtly affect their psychology and make them think that the two of you are “on the same page” and seeing things “eye to eye.”
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
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Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS