SELF HELP RESOURCE - Work / Workplace Relationships


...Make your own!!!

It often takes very little to adapt to your boss's work style, but the payoff is big .

We would all like to have the perfect boss: the one who is cheerful, professional, experienced and fair. But bosses, like everyone else, aren't perfect. Perhaps your boss is a great performer but a poor manager, or maybe your department's visionary leader falls short when it comes to attention to detail

No matter what, your boss will have more impact than anyone else over whether you succeed or fail. Your boss establishes benchmarks for your success, interprets your actions for other key players, and controls resources you need. Building a productive working relationship with him or her is a clear early priority.

Figuring out what makes your boss happy, what annoys him can help you better communicate and improve your odds of developing a great working relationship. Here are some suggestions:


Your Boss, Your Client

You've probably had a variety of bosses in your work life. Some gave you good feedback and always supported you, others made life difficult; they were too controlling or disorganized. No matter what your boss is like, recognize that you can either work with or against him/her. And it's a lot easier to work with them. One easy way to do this is, to see your boss as a client. You probably already go out of your way to accommodate clients or customers. So why not think of your boss as your client? He or she has expectations, and those expectations should define what you deliver. Keep in mind that your relationship with your boss is your most important one at work; it affects your job satisfaction and advancement opportunities.


Start Right

In the case of a new boss, have a meeting with your boss where you discuss such fundamental issues as job responsibilities, performance expectations and objectives, your company and boss's guiding values, and preferred work processes or "best practices."


In the Boss' Shoes

By observing and asking questions, you can understand a lot about your boss's world. Try to note such things as scope of responsibility, number of direct reports, industry background, and history with the company. Even more telling might be your boss's career goals, relationship with his or her boss and any outside pressures. Placing yourself in his/her shoes can provide insight into the demands she/ he may also be under and help you gain perspective with regard to your own projects. Perhaps your is experiencing stress from his or her own boss and therefore may seem to have less time for you. In this case, offering your assistance can come as welcome news to your boss and allow you to take on increased responsibility.


Time Your Work

Figure out the best way to communicate with your boss. Some prefer face-to-face contact throughout the day and others prefer e-mail or voicemail updates or questions. Also, ask if your supervisor prefers a quick overview with bullet points or a detailed report. Some prefer receiving an update in the beginning of the day and others towards the latter half.


Express Yourself

Once you've found the best way to communicate with your boss, be proactive in telling him / her, what resources you need to get your job done (don't hope your boss will guess). Maybe you need additional computer training to create a presentation, for instance. Let your boss know why you need it and how it will help you do your job more effectively.


Disscuss Don't Confront

You should discuss your concerns - not confront your boss. There is a difference. You need to carry out the discussion of your concerns in a non-adversarial way. Try to convey your grievances in a manner that does not do further damage to your relationship.


Handle Criticism Constructively

Try to see the criticism as valuable information on how to do better, not as a personal attack. Try to separate your personal ego from your business persona. Try hard to control your impulses to react emotionally or defensively. Try to see the criticism as an opportunity to work together with your boss on a development plan. See yourself as a partner with your boss on this plan, rather than on seeing yourself as a victim of a power struggle.


Tough Boss

Successfully managing a difficult boss is a challenge but often feasible. Understand the reasons for your boss's difficult behavior. If your boss's behaviour seems to reflect a chronically hostile, abusive style of interacting regardless of the amount of stress in the worksite, the chances are less positive that the behavior can change; in such a situation managing your own negative emotions regarding his/her behavior so that you do not engage in self-defeating behavior (e.g. stonewalling, or counter-attacking your boss) is the best way.

Use these strategies to forge a harmonious, productive, and mutually beneficial relationship with your boss.


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