Enhancing Your Relationship With Your Boss
Dale W. Bomberger D.Ed., ACSWCommunity Services GroupDalebomberger@comcast.net
Relationship with Boss
Common obstacle is not getting along with boss#1 reason people leave their job is because of their boss/supervisor - 70 % leave for this reasonWe tend to blame supervisor/boss for employee’s departure but what part does the employee play in this relationship/
Employee and boss share a critical interdependence that makes the development of a strong and trusting relationship imperative for each.Both need each other and the relationship is of vital importance!Look to form a partnership and growing from diversity
Do employees think about their relationship with their supervisor/boss? Do many even care?Employee should think of their boss/supervisor as a key customer and best advocateLearn to manage relationship and remember he/she is only human and may need some help
Strengths and Weaknesses
Employees need to assess their own strengths and weaknesses and take note of areas that need development.Take note of bosses strengths and weaknessesEmployees Should try and help boss in area of weakness
Goals & Expectations
Most set goals and expectations with their supervisorsNeed to look up another step: What are the supervisor's responsibilities and accountabilities?These will impact the employees performance and how they are appraised.
Goals and Expectations
What the boss has to deliver should be the basis for the employee’s and supervisor's prioritiesBoss needs employees support and insight to help advance his/her agendaBoss needs to be kept informed and advised as to employees perspective and vantage point for only the employee has such an advantage point
Goals and Priorities
Employees should consider key priorities and projects the boss needs to accomplish.Should take time to anticipate and appreciate the pressure of balancing multiple priorities and conflicting needs.Employee should consider how his/her projects fit into the larger context, should try to tie his/her work to larger goals of the program.
Value the bosses timePlan interactions and meetings carefully, gauging projects within the programKnow what is expected in your work role and the criteria that will define success.Should also know boss’s responsibilities and success criteria for his/her role
Know what success will look likeEmployee should think about own goals and values.What does the employee want to accomplish?What is he/she passionate about?
Goals & Expectations
Discuss well-thought out values and goals with the boss – Do these match the boss’s? – The company’s?Boss’s Expectations should be very clearKnow expectations and exceed themSome written, some not – know both –Know what is important – don’t guess, ask!
Know what matters to the boss—if a numbers person, quantify your results and know which numbers matter mostIf a customers first person—frame your results in terms of benefits to customers.Say yes to things that matter and no to things that do not matter - Set priorities as to amount of work
Employee should assess if their behavior patterns and their boss’s patterns are effective. Review how you work together and identify when the relationship works well or not so well.Be specific ---what do you want to change? Prepare practical suggestions with benefits for booth employee and boss
In a relationship each is responsible for at least 50% of making it successful—Employee needs to take the bulk of the responsibility. It is not realistic to expect others to change to suit you. You need to be the one to change.We only have control of ourselves, therefore the employee should try to change rather than expect others to change
Built onTrust– can be open and honest in thoughts and action - do not have to watch you backMutualRespect– Value others opinions and ideas and they value yours – can work together based on collective insight, wisdom, and creativityMindfulness- Taking responsibility for our words and actions – careful what is said – don’t let negative emotions interfere
WelcomingDiversity– Accept diverse people and opinions. Consider what others have to say – factor their insights into your decision-makingOpenCommunication– All good relationships depend on open, honest, communication
How to Build Relationships
1. Develop people skills – collaboration, communication, conflict resolution, etc.2. Schedule time to build relationships3. Focus on your Emotional Intelligence – have an ability to recognize your own emotions and understand what they are telling you about yourself and others
How to Build Relationships
4. Appreciate Others – Show appreciation whenever someone helps you – genuinely compliment the people around you when they do something well5. Be Positive – Positivity is contagious. No one wants to be around someone who is negative all the time.6. Avoid gossiping – If you have conflict with someone, talk to them directly about the problem.
How to Build Relationships
7. Listen Actively – Truly listen to what people have to say – focus on listening more than you talk and you will be know as someone who can be trustedThe more you give in your relationships the more you’ll get back from those around you!
Skills and Talents
Each brings a unique set of skills and talents from being who we areLook for the unique skills and talents you possess that can help your boss be more successful in executing his/her responsibilities—try to make sure that he/she is aware of them
Accept differences with your boss.Accept constructive criticism and learn form itPraise for your boss should always be genuine
Accept some quirks; perfectionist, neat freak, rambler, scatterbrain, etc. The employee should try to work with and around them. When you become a boss/supervisor, someone will have to deal with your quirks.
Working with Your Boss
The employee should show initiative and save the boss time by understanding how he/she works. When you brief your boss about a problem, present your suggestion for a solution. Add a plan of action. Keep the boss well informed and in the loop.
1. E-Mail – For non-urgent questi0ns. email and has.2. Phone – For issues that need to be dealt with promptly3. Brief Ad-Hoc Meeting – Use to discuss issues that need urgent attention4. Memo – Use if you need to make a point for the record.5. Formal Meeting – Face-to-Face discussions6. Try to meet boss’s preferences, not yours
Style and preference
Is boss formal or informal?Hands on manager or only like to be consulted when issues arise? Does he/she value those who act autonomously ?What seems to be relevant to the boss?
Style & Preference
What triggers impatience?How does he/she like to make decisions: with time to consider, consensus of team, or with your recommendation?How is conflict handled, directly or indirectly, avoid confrontation or seek debate?
Pay attention to differences in your personality and work style and that of your supervisor/bossBehavioral Styles :1. Lions2. Otters3. Beavers4. Golden Retrievers
Take charge leaders – problem solvers –competitive shape environment – immediate results – likes challenges – likes power and authority – confidentDecisive takes risk – may lack concern and be impatientRespond–be efficient – minimize small talk-focus on results – avoid details- use facts and logic - cut to the chase!Focus onWhatquestions
Energetic and playful – cheer leaders – good motivators – like to talk and vote on decisions – Need t be liked – creative – good networker – avoid details – enjoy change –people persons – see possibilities – “trust me it will work out” May be impulsive –lack follow-throughRespond- be friendly – encourage conversation – use stories to convince – help them please others – avoid details – speak about who will be involvedAskWhoquestions
Do things “right” – operate by the book – read instructions – Likes maps, charts, are very precise, persistent, logical – seeks fairness- stands firmEnsures quality and accuracy – likes defined expectations –may be critical of self and othersRespond- Be accurate – minimize small talk – provide pro and cons to convince – give step-by-step explanations – avoid violating standardsAsk Why questions
Loyal – want to please – avoid conflict – enjoy routine and dislike change – tolerant – nurturing – patient –Achieve stability – calm- good listener - cooperate – sincere appreciation – May be overly willing to give and put own needs lastRespond- Be friendly and supportive – show benefits to convince – give details – be patient with changeAsk How questions
Disagree in private - never embarrass the boss publicly. Support and promote the boss and meet his/her expectations. Align yourself with the organizations values and culture.The boss represents the organization that pays the employee. He/she can expect to receive commitment to produce work at the standard required and some loyalty to the organization
Try to be positive and upbeatLook good – posture – eye contactAppear well-preparedEmulate dress code of a level above youPresent written communication well – writing – spelling , etc.
Do more than expectedIf bring problem; bring suggested solutionBe cooperative team playerThink how your actions will effect others
Be optimistic – you can only change yourselfA simple smile goes a long way!Reflect on past successesHelp others – give energy rather than drain it.Let others know what you can do not what you can not do
Better Yourself and Your Boss
Seek knowledge , skills and job know-how.Soak up knowledge like a sponge from learning - tools, situations and others – Informal LearningHelp keep the boss abreast of research and vital informational in your field.