How To Be A Good Employee: 5 Ways to Make Your Boss Happy
You spend a lot of time thinking about your boss. No matter whether you admit to it or not, it’s true. And chances are high that if you believe your boss is either a) the greatest manager in history or b) the most calloused, shortsighted manager in history, one thing is sure: you’re probably wrong. The following pieces of advice will help you “manage up”-to gently steer your manager’s attention toward behaviors that will aid your success- whether you’re blessed by having a great boss or cursed with an awful one. I personally vacillate between being a good, great and terrible boss- so keep in mind that your boss is probably learning what works with you too.
Value Your Manager’s Time, Even When You Have No Idea What He or She Does With It
Your boss has a lot going on, even if you don’t think so. The last thing a manager wants to feel is disrespect for his or her time. You may not see all that your boss does. Maybe your boss doesn’t do that much. Oddly enough, it’s not really that important to the respect you owe your manager. So either way, convincing yourself that your manager’s time is worthy of respect will make your life easier– and it will make your relationship with him or her better, too. You have a responsibility to your boss, and he or she has a responsibility to you too. Those general responsibilities probably fall along the following lines of: 1) setting your direction, 2) assigning you your work. 3) providing you feedback on your work, and 4) being a thought partner when needed. If you happen to have a great boss she is probably also pushing you to do your best work because she sees your potential and recognizes your strengths and weaknesses. Lesser recognized is the fact that your boss is often responsible for you keeping your job, championing you and your work, and getting any and all complaints about you. Becoming indispensable to your boss is simple and it starts with the right way to manage her, so here’s how.
5 Ways to Proactively “Manage Up” Your Manager
1. Use your manager’s time wisely. Even if you don’t see it, your boss is busy. Trust me. And chances are high that the responsibilities on your manager’s shoulders bear more weight than your job’s responsibilities. So make life easier by engaging with your
boss when you need him or her as a thought partner. Make the effort to schedule meetings that have purpose. Once in a meeting, be specific. Use sentences that start with “I need your help on…” and end with “Our next steps will be…” 2. Come armed with solutions. The last thing I want to hear as a boss is a problem without a solution. Don’t think you can create the solution yourself? That’s fine – but at least attempt to show up with a hypothesis or a suggestion with how to solve it. That way, I know you’ve at least spent the time to try and solve it before getting me on it. 3. Send next steps. Confusion and miscommunications happen. Minimize the confusion by putting decisions in writing. It’s always super helpful to get a note with “I’m working on this, these are the steps I am taking and this is when I will have it to you.” And then if your boss wants something else they can respond to that immediately. This also covers you if you show up on the date with the product and your boss freaks out because she wanted something completely different. 4. Be excellent at your work. Many people often forget that the work they do matters a lot. To go above and beyond great work, find out what you can do to make life easier for your boss, and ask for more. If you want to move up in your industry, oftentimes you need to let your boss know you need more work to do. Taking work away from her that she does can be the exact double whammy. 5. Be in a good mood. To some extent, this is manager-specific, but in my book, your mood determines the quality of your review. Attitude issues can be the root of miscommunications and discontent between you and your manager. Coming into work with a “can do” positive attitude is the best thing you can do. Remember that as stressed or frustrated as you are about something, your boss is probably five times as stressed out or frustrated. Knowing that someone on her team is happy to be in the office, and is ready to tackle anything (and who knows how to use her time wisely) will not go unnoticed. Being your manager is tough and rewarding. Make life easier by following these guidelines for success. And let me know how it goes. What works well for you and your boss? Share in the comments!