There is nothing worse than working for a boss that you don’t get along with and when there is a lack of mutual respect in the relationship. Most people spend 40 hours or more a week at work which is significant. For some, this 40 hours can be gruelling because everything their boss says or does rubs them the wrong way.
For those who have been in the working world for a while now you’ve probably experienced one of these frustrating situations. No matter what you did, or how hard you worked, your boss never saw favorably of you. Or, maybe you just didn’t get along. Unfortunately, sour employee and manager relationships are a primary reason for high attrition rates at some companies. But, The Dallas Morning News recently provided some tips to help build a strong working relationship with your boss.
Here is a look at some of these tips and some comments about them:
You Can’t Change Your Boss
Realize you can’t change your boss, however, you can control your behavior and how you react to certain situations. I think following this tip helps reduce stress. Often people stress about things they can’t control. You have to look at what is in your control and that is how you react and behave to challenging situations. Boss’s like it when their employees can remain calm in the face of storms. So, even when your boss is highly stressed, take the high road and be calm and always positive.
You Must Take Responsibility
The interesting thing about organizations is that they are full of people who communicate differently, have different value systems and so on. There will always be some conflict (that’s just people). Some people will communicate more effectively with each other than others. But, as it is with managing money, it is your responsibility to manage your working relationships and figure out the best way to communicate effectively with your boss.
Personally, this one took me a while to learn. I had to realize it wasn’t everyone else’s responsibility to communicate just like me. Duh! You have to respect each person’s communication styles. Enjoy the challenge in figuring out how to best work with your boss and others. Someone who has the ability to do this can be a great leader.
Don’t Be Self-Focused
You’re working for the organization and personal interests have to be in sync with organizational goals. You always come across employees who want to know what the company is going to do for them today. Well, people have to realize working is a privilege, honor, and gift from God. The organization is a group of people who should be geared to a common goal or cause. No one wants someone on the team whose only agenda is self-serving. When you realize you’re only thinking about you, consider what you can help to do for others, including your boss. Your boss will appreciate it when you’re proactive in helping.
Know You Boss’s Goals
Know what your boss is being measured on and help him or her achieve those goals. Your boss’s goals are their boss’s goals and on up the ladder to the CEO. Your boss is being measured just like you and has pressures to achieve certain milestones for the company. If you’re helping your boss, you’re helping the organization and this will certainly be recognized. The good thing about taking this approach is it provides the opportunity for you to set stretch goals, develop new skills and learn to operate effectively at a level above your current situation.
Sometimes forming relationships isn’t easy. You have to realize that sometimes you’ll do your part and it just won’t work out. That’s okay. You have to look at every step as a learning experience. You’ll know when it’s the right time to move on, or you’ll build a long-term working relationship with a boss who will respect and support you along your career path. Just remember, you have a significant responsiblity in building a relationship and communicating effectively with your boss.
Do you have any success stories, or lessons learned when building a relationship with a past boss?
Photo by Martin Cathrae