Wednesday, February 3, 2016

4 Steps to Developing an Effective Working Relationship with Your Boss

A key to your job satisfaction is developing an effective working relationship with your boss. If you have a difficult or negative relationship with your supervisor you are unlikely to enjoy your work and it can seriously impact your work quality and, therefore, your opportunities for moving up.

You have the ability, however, to improve this relationship and here are 4 steps to help build a good working relationship with your boss.

1. Understand your boss's working style. It is important to understand how your supervisor likes to work. Is she detail-oriented, driven by deadlines, or does she make decisions slowly and deliberately? You need to understand how your manager likes to work in order to best meet his or her expectations.

2. Speaking of expectations. What exactly does your boss expect of you? The clearer you can come to understanding this the more effective your working relationship will be and the more effective you can be in your job. Try to get these expectations in writing so all parties can reference them if necessary.

3. Develop a communication plan. When you've done the work to understand your manager's style and know what her expectations are then you should have an indication of how best (and how often) to communicate. If he or she is a micro-manager then you might need to provide daily updates on a project and if you know your supervisor prefers face-to-face meetings then you likely don't want to provide these updates by email. Work with your boss to develop a communication plan that works for you both.

4. Maintain a positive attitude. There still might be times when your supervisor frustrates you or handles a situation or project in an unexpected way and in those times it's important to take a step back, realize your boss is human too, and maintain a positive attitude toward him or her. Avoid falling into the trap of bad-mouthing your manager to colleagues or other managers.

Implement these four steps and you'll likely see improvement in your interactions with your manager.  

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