When it comes to your career, and your entire life for that matter, the most vital relationship you will have to nurture is your relationship with yourself. A close second is the relationship you have with your family and loved ones. But the third most important relationship is that with your boss. No matter how much you may abhor or feel indifferently about your manager, you’ll definitely have to work around that feeling if you value your current job. A great relationship with your boss will open up doors that a lousy one just can’t. Still not convinced why you should care about how you and your boss interact? Here’s a quick rundown of why employee-employer relations are important and the strategies you can take to get along with your boss.
Why Employee-Employer Relations are Important
The first, and probably the most important, reason why your relationship with your boss is vital is that you simply can’t do your job well if you and your boss don’t have open communication lines. No matter how good you are at accomplishing your responsibilities, you can’t fulfill them to anyone’s satisfaction if you and your immediate boss are on the outs or aren’t talking at all. The rapport between you and your supervisor is a great factor in determining how well expectations are met and how well directions are carried out. The better your relationship with your boss is, the better you’ll be able to deliver the results you’re meant to deliver.
Similarly, a good working relationship with your boss will ensure that you get better at doing your job. There’s no one else better than your superior to provide advice and feedback on how you can improve your performance in the work setting. Maintaining a great relationship with that person may just be the thing you need to step up your game and ensure you don’t get labeled “mediocre” or “average” at the next performance evaluation.
Speaking of evaluations, those heart-stopping appraisals of your performance are another reason why you should be in a wonderful working relationship with your boss. Even if you’ve always been a role model among employees in your company, that wouldn’t matter much to a manager who’s had it in for you since you joined the team. Face it. Bad feelings between you and the person above you will more than likely show up in your evaluation forms. Keeping your relationship with the person in charge harmonious will ensure that you get a fair and accurate appraisal.
Lastly, excellent relations with your boss will open up new opportunities for you in terms of salary raises, promotions, and bonuses. If you harbor any hopes of getting ahead in your career, you had better work on mending the fence with that boss you alienated by going above him in a certain matter. In an idyllic world, a bad relationship with your boss wouldn’t get in between you and a promotion as long as you really deserved it. However, things are quite different in the real world.
Strategies You Can Take to Get Along with Your Boss
A good working relationship takes time to build. It also requires devotion, patience, open-mindedness, and maybe even humility. So how can you get along better with your boss? Here are some tried and tested strategies:
1. Earn your boss’ trust.
As with virtually any type of relationship, you’ll have to earn the trust of the other person. In the work setting, this means producing the required results at the time you promised. When you make a commitment to deliver something before or on the deadline, you should stick to it. This also means keeping your manager informed of your interactions and various projects. Don’t blind side him with unpleasant surprises that you know you or he could have predicted or avoided. Lastly, you should never cover up the mistakes or errors you or your team has committed. That’s not going to win you any awards in the trust department.
2. Know your boss really well.
If you know zilch about your boss, all your efforts to get along with him will go down the drain. Even as early as your first few days on the job, you should take the steps to get to know your boss. For starters, you should have a quick sit-down discussion with him about the ways he expects you to communicate. Does he prefer to receive communications through email, phone, or in person? How often does he want updates from you and how much information should go into these updates? Once you’ve covered some of the basics, you’ll have a clearer idea of what your boss expects. You can then start on getting to know him deeper in the professional sense.
3. Work toward your goals AND your boss’.
The work setting doesn’t revolve around you, no matter how much you want it to be the case. So when you work towards your goals, you have to consider if those goals are in line with those of the entire organization as well as of your immediate superior. More than that, you should also make it easier for your boss to achieve his professional goals. Find out what those goals are, and lighten your boss’ load. In a similar manner, you should also be aware of what your superior’s priorities are. After all, you both belong to the same team, with him as the leader. If something is at the top of his priorities, that something should immediately be at the top of yours as well.
4. Be careful with the words that come out of your mouth.
Words are mighty and powerful. The right ones can earn you a nod of approval, while the wrong ones can send you packing and searching for another job. When asked why you were not able to accomplish something, be sure to have a valid answer. Excuses such as being “too busy” or “I forgot” just don’t cut it. “That isn’t part of my job description” is even worse. Even more important than having a valid answer is presenting a solution to the problem. Words may be powerful, but actions are even more so.
5. Don’t hold a grudge.
Your boss may not be able to give you everything you want. He may have to turn down some of your “brilliant” suggestions or may have to assign the accounts you wanted to another well-deserving member of the team. Get over it! Holding a grudge will only keep you farther from your career objectives. Instead of harboring bad feelings, utilize your energy towards earning your boss’ approval. Maybe then your suggestions will be met with smiles and the projects you wanted will be entrusted to you.
An effective relationship with your boss is important in so many ways. It leads to better job performance, greater opportunities to advance, and an overall healthy career. Take all the steps you can to keep that relationship in good, working order.
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