The Insider's Guide To
Getting Along With Your Boss
Understand, the fact that your boss, like yourself, is a human being. Like everyone else, bosses come in all shapes and sizes. Like you, he has ambitions, aspirations, and dreams. Some he will achieve, others he won't. Some bosses are good managers, others bad, but most fall somewhere in the middle range.
Unless you're working for a very small company, your boss probably has superiors of his own - that no doubt can, and do, drive him crazy at times. What it boils down to more than anything else is, how well you and your boss can deal with the emotional roller coaster of everyday life, and perhaps most importantly, how each of you view your job.
To get along with your boss, or other people for that matter, you have to know how to understand and react to personality traits, get inside your boss's head. In short, you need to develop your human relations skills.
This does not mean becoming a ""yes" man and always siding with your boss no matter how dumb a mistake he makes, or how big a fool he makes of himself. Your boss may appreciate such blind devotion, but unless you are willing to drop anchor and never advance up the corporate ladder, you also need to know when to put some distance between you immediate supervisor, and the powers that be, because if your boss really goofs-up - you may be shown the door at the same time your boss is!
Back to getting along with the boss, you of course need to get on and stay on his "good side," in short become a team player That means becoming the type of an employee everyone would like to have work for them. Someone with a positive outlook, someone who's also friendly, loyal, tolerant, compassionate, understanding, courteous and supportive. Someone who can take, and follow orders. Someone who can get the job done. Someone who knows when to speak-up, and when to keep his mouth shut.
Regardless of what you think of your boss, the first thing you should learn, is his style of supervising. The two extremes of management style, are a boss who enjoys playing the part of a military leader, where he, or she barks orders that must be followed exactly without question, or the boss who maintains a very low profile, giving employees broad guidelines and then disappearing. Fortunately, most bosses fall somewhere in between the two extremes, or little actual work would ever get done!
If you have the type of personality that demands you must have very specific orders or you're "afraid you won't do it right," you better have a boss who is willing to spend the time watching your every step.
On the other hand, if you must be left to your own devices to make things work to get the job done and resent the boss looking over your shoulder or constantly "picking on you," you better have the type of boss who is willing to give you enough room to do your own thing.
Either way, if you are stuck with the "wrong kind" of boss it will be a real source of irritation that frequently ends in you not seeing eye to eye with your supervisor.
If you can't change, or at least try, you would be better off finding employment elsewhere - because the boss isn't going to change his management style to please you!
It also pays dividends to learn what your boss likes and dislikes, and then adapt what you do to suit his personality and management style. All bosses expect their workers to know how to do their job, and to get it do it correctly, and on time, but problems are bound to come up in any business. One thing that can really "set off" your boss is not handling problems like "he thinks" they should be handled.
Remember, he's the boss, so be sure to learn how he wants you to communicate problems. Does he prefer you put it in writing, arrange a meeting, or just drop-in his office anytime you have a question? Use common sense. If the boss is in a bad mood, or otherwise having a bad day, he's probably not in the proper frame of mind to listen to any new suggestions, or for you to ask to go home early, take a day off, or get a raise.
Besides consideration for the boss's mood, and receptiveness on any particular day to listen to new ideas, the employee who thinks he has a good idea for changing an operating procedure, should always re-think his idea through from every angle before presenting it to the boss.
You should give your boss the feeling of confidence that you're a team player and you want to be the one he or she can depend on to make his or her job easier. You should try to figure out what your boss's goals are, then help him to reach those goals through your contributions as a good employee.
Basically, the good employee is the one who is ready and in the mood to go to work at the designated time.
- A good employee knows his job, inside and out, and if faced with something new, puts in the necessary time on his own, to try and figure things out, then presents options to the boss, who decides if any changes in policy or procedures are needed.
- A good employee doesn't take time off except for real illness or emergencies. He's the one who does his work, gets the job done, and is proud of his contribution to the overall success of the company he works for. He's one who's ready to help a fellow employee or newcomer without having to be asked to do so.
- A good employee lets the boss know that he's completed his work, and is free to assist him or her with special projects. He's the one who doesn't camp out at the water cooler or coffee machine engaging his fellow workers in idle gossip. He's the one who sets up his work area either for the person on the next shift, or so that he'll be ale to go right to work when he comes in the next day.
All of these things and more, are the basic ingredients to the definition of a good employee, and being a good employee is the best way of getting along with the boss! The practice of good human relations and displaying the virtues of the ideal employee, requires the constant use of one's common sense for ultimate success. On needs to be aware of the boss's sensitivities, and eccentricities. If he bristles at any hint of criticism of how he does things, he needs a subordinate who'll be willing to work under less then ideal conditions.
So, the bottom-line to getting along with any boss is first be a good employee yourself. Master human relations. Understand that your boss is a human being just like yourself - with a job to do, and bosses of his own to answer to. So do everything you can to make his or her job easier. It will go a long way to making your job easier and having a good working relationship with the boss!
If you can master the all important "people skills," someday you may enjoy the power and prestige of being the boss, and enjoying all the perks and other trappings of being in charge!
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