Arguably your most important relationship at work is with your direct supervisor. That’s the person who decides if and how you get ahead, what you get paid, and what your daily workload looks like. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have one you get along with easily. If you’re not, here are some things you can do to develop that critical relationship, compiled by Madam Noire:
01. Be a great employee
Rule Number One is, of course, do the best quality work you can. Contribute thoughtfully in team meetings. Don’t gossip, and try to maintain a positive attitude.
02. Make your boss look good
Understand that if you drop the ball, it reflects poorly on your boss. And be sure not to complain about or criticize your boss to others. That kind of thing tends to come back and bite you.
03. Offer to pitch in
When you can, ask the boss if there’s any task you can take care of that no one else is doing. Support others in your group with their projects, being available to assist if needed.
04. Be a self-starter
Make your own decisions where possible, and come up with your own solutions to problems rather than adding to your boss’s workload.
05. Earn trust the old-fashioned way
Be absolutely reliable. Never fail to do what you’ve said you’ll do.
06. Ask for feedback from your boss, but in moderation
Without seeming needy, occasionally check in with your boss to ask if they see opportunities for you to grow as an employee and improve your output.
07. Communicate clearly
Find out how your boss likes to be communicated with and how often, and adhere to what works best for them.
08. Make small talk
Without being too intimate, casual small talk can let your boss know that you understand they have a life beyond job responsibilities. Be friendly but not nosy.
09. When your boss excels, congratulate them
If you have some genuine enthusiasm for something the boss does, tell them. Everyone likes some approval. It’s not sucking up if you really mean it.
10. Realize your boss is human and that their job isn’t easy
Remember your boss is responsible for a lot of things, some of which you likely don’t even know about. Give your boss the benefit of the doubt when you can.
11. Look ahead
Make yourself available to your boss for future projects, letting them know you’d be happy to help out.
One of the guaranteed truths of business is that people appreciate it when you make their job easier. These tips can help make you someone your boss is happy to have around.
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