We spend most of our waking hours in the office, so it’s important to try to have a good relationship with your boss or bosses. If you have a difficult relationship with your boss, it makes being productive and giving your best more difficult. Being able to successfully manage your boss is the best way to ensure that you bring in your best work and achieve more in the workplace.

Managing with your boss implies building a relationship with them where they appreciate you, advocate for you and be actively associated with moving your career to the next level. In the long run, you have the most to gain if you are able to successfully manage your boss.

Here are some tips on how to do this successfully:

  1. Use their preferred method of communication: Everyone has a means of communication they prefer. It might be a preference for calls, over texts or emails; or vice versa. Similarly, some people like to talk through their problems while others prefer to take some time to reflect on them alone. Take the time to observe how your boss prefers to communicate and adopt that style when communicating with them. The more you communicate with them in the manner they prefer, the better they would hear and process what you are saying.
  1. Be a problem solver: Teams are put together to try to solve problems, so look for creative ways to make your boss’ life easier by helping to solve problems that are likely to crop up. Try to avoid being a part of the problem. Also try to avoid going to your boss with problems without at least one possible strategy to tackle it.
  1. Always hold yourself accountable: If you make a mess of things, don’t resort to blaming others but ensure you take responsibility. Demonstrate accountability by owning up to your mistakes, offering possible steps that can be taken to remedy the situation, and how it can be prevented in the future.
  1. Avoid making excuses: Never make excuses to get off the hook; you would only end up looking bad. The best way to minimise any damage is to own up to your mistakes and working to do better.
  1. Know your boss’ expectations of you: It’s important to how you are being judged by your boss. For example, if you are in sales, are you being judged based on the number of sales you bring or by the size of each sale? The best way to know what your boss expects is to communicate frequently with him or her. Endeavour to touch base with your boss at least once a week to know what areas to work on and be sure you are working in line with what they want.
  1. Know your boss’ goals: It’s also a good idea to find out how your boss is being judged and execute on that. Look for ways to help the department meet its deadlines and goals in a timely and efficient manner. Think strategically.

Treat your relationship with your boss the way you would treat any relationship that’s important to you. This involves investing your time, energy, and creatively thinking of ways to make them happy; as well as creating habits that cultivate trust.

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