Every successful leader has times when his/her boss doesn’t like them! This happens for a variety of reasons. For example, you’ve made a series of bad decisions, your direct reports are complaining about you, or your ego hurts results.
Why doesn’t your boss like you? Because you’ve made more work for him or her!
The key to developing a great relationship with your boss is resolving issues as they arise. This requires 1:1 communication. Unfortunately, you tell yourself to wait it out. You hope that you won’t need to talk it out. Yet, this strategy rarely works and hurts your relationship with your boss. You also miss out on new career opportunities.
6 Tips to Develop A Positive Working Relationship with Your Boss
Develop Trust. If you are someone that doesn’t listen to yourself when you make promises, it’s the reason your boss (and others) don’t trust you. Learn to be present and listen when you make promises. Also, listen to your boss, especially when you think you already know what the boss is going to say! Ask follow-up questions to clarify expectations for assignments.
Develop Confidence. While you may not have confidence in your boss’s ability to make the right decisions, set this aside. (If appropriate, recommend an executive coach!) It’s important you develop your boss’s confidence in your ability to manage your team or project. To develop this confidence, work with your own executive coach and focus on the inevitable ups and downs of managing others and projects. This makes less work for your boss! The added benefit is confidence breeds likability.
Develop Integrity. Bosses value honesty and candor. But, when telling the truth, be responsible to state it in a tactful and diplomatic way. There are 2 ways (hint: use the best one based on the boss’s type of personality):
- -Warn the boss s/he won’t like your answer and then use straight talk; OR
- -Use a sandwich approach: share 2 positive things before sharing 2 specific issues. Then, wrap up with 2 good things.
Develop Good Working Relationships with Others. If team members complain about your management or project style, this breeds discontent. Many bosses don’t like resolving people issues or getting in the middle of conflicts! To alleviate this from happening, learn to slow down when interacting with others. Build alignment by being present in all conversations and work through conflicts. Be a champion for team success not just your own success. Work with your executive coach and learn how to elicit better responses from others.
Develop Project Success. If you fail to meet your customers’ expectations, you will create distrust. And, eventually your boss will be forced to fire you! Instead, learn how to manage projects for success. Start with developing strong project management habits, brainstorming skills, people development skills, and meeting facilitation skills.
Learn How to Brag! Most bosses have no idea what you’ve been doing, and, when they do, they only hear about problems! Learn how to brag and bring your successes and your teams’ successes to your boss’s attention. Also, learn to appreciate your boss…it makes you more likable!
©Jeannette Seibly, 2020
Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker. For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel in business and beyond. If you have a boss that doesn’t like you, get it resolved now before it’s too late! Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.
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