Maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with your higher-ups is just as important as the relationships you have with your employees. Successfully managing your manager is no easy task, but applying these simple steps can help you get the most out of your position.
Build a positive relationship
It can be easy to forget that your boss is a person with their own concerns, aspirations and a personal life, just like you. Trying to understand their point of view can help you to get on with them, and if they get stressed out, it is best not to take it personally. Having a strong and warm working partnership with your boss makes life a lot easier for everyone involved.
Make them look good
One way to improve relations with your manager is to help them to meet their objectives. Remember that they have their own boss that they will want to impress, so by making them look good, they will view you more favourably. If you communicate with them about their goals and how you can help achieve them, they will be much more likely to help you with your goals in return.
Let them know they can trust you
You want your boss to trust your judgement so they can rely on you to make the best decisions for your team. If you have an issue that you think you might be able to resolve yourself, always try this first before approaching your manager for help. This will demonstrate that you can work on your own initiative, and will encourage them to give you more responsibility in the future.
Never make excuses or blame your team if something hasn’t gone to plan. This is a quick fix and will make you look worse in the long run. Your boss will appreciate you being honest, and this will allow you both to learn from the experience and move on. That said, if you are having personal issues that are preventing you from working to your full potential, a good manager should be able to show empathy and take this into account. If you feel comfortable discussing these issues with them, then do. They won’t be able to cut you any slack if they don’t know what’s going on.
Respect is a two-way street, which means that certain lines shouldn’t be crossed. Ideally these boundaries are clear from the beginning of your working relationship, but it’s never too late to be assertive with your boss. If you feel that you are being taken advantage of, or that work is starting to interfere with your personal life, it’s okay to speak up.
There are times at work where you might feel angry or upset, but the important thing is to stay level-headed and maintain a professional attitude. Losing your temper will not solve anything, so if you feel like this may become a problem it is best to remove yourself from the situation to give you time to calm down. Never approach your boss about an issue when you feel highly emotional.
If you have an idea that could improve the productivity of your team, don’t be afraid to present it to your boss. They will be impressed that you are thinking big, and if you have built up a strong relationship, this should give your idea more credibility. This is especially true if your ideas will also help them to meet their own objectives.