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Basic steps to managing your boss

Lynnette Lee was recently transferred to another department in her electronic commerce company. She had earlier received news from the grapevine that her new superior was not very much of a friendly and ‘nice’ person. True enough, her superior seemed not very fond of communicating and Lynnette had difficulties trying to meet his requirements. It wasn’t long after that Lynnette opted to look for another job as the easiest way out. She left the company after two agonising months.

In the working world, most would safely assume that managing people would be a one-way street, that is, for the superiors to manage their subordinates. Not many recognise that superiors need to be managed as well. Managing one’s superior is very similar to that of managing your own customers. In both situations, it simply involves managing human beings and relationships. Not many realise how important it is to have a relatively ‘good’ relationship with one’s superior. The truth is that a superior plays a pivotal role in the subordinate’s career progress. For one, the superior happens to be the one who would recommend raises and promotions. On the other hand, a strained relationship would mean a rather miserable life and thus, opportunities for career advancement are limited most especially for the subordinate. So, what are the available ways to build a fruitful boss-subordinate relationship? Let’s take a look at some basic steps to start off with.

Do your job well and abide by rules.
Be a smart person and do your job well. Show great initiative and accept responsibilities openly. Also, it would be critical to know the company well and adhere to company policies. You wouldn’t want to be seen walking in the door at 9.15am when it is strictly a 9.00am to 6.00pm policy.

Understand your superior’s style.
It is important to understand your superior’s style of work. Get to know whether he or she emphasises on practicality or one that values great in-depth details. Work smart and get the job done according to your superior’s preferences. It doesn’t make sense to get the details when your superior values simplicity with practicality. In the long run, you would get even more frustrated. In addition, identify what is expected of you. Communicate with your superior on a consistent basis and feedback if necessary. It sometimes proves to be critical to meet your superior’s goal.

Think of the company.
How your department fares reflects on both the superior and subordinate. When your department does well, it increases credibility for all. Be professional and think of the department as a whole entity. Work well with fellow colleagues and improve as a whole. For a department or company to excel, it takes teamwork and not a lone ranger.

Manage disagreements.
What should you do if your find yourself not agreeing with your superior’s business decision? Do you take the issue over his or her head or simply grin and bear with it? Caught in this dilemma, it would be best to first assess the steps to take. Is it worth the hassle as this involves sensitivity. If not, maybe it is best not to pursue the matter.

Don’t threaten.
Be enthusiastic but without threatening your superior’s position. It would not be very favourable if your superior finds that you are threatening his position in the company.

Be truthful and not over-promise.
The key to cultivating a good working relationship is to put yourself in a position where your superior believes in your ability and can rely on you for good ideas. When it comes to believing in your ability, tell the truth even if you feel that you won’t be able to meet a particular deadline. Give an explanation and negotiate for a more realistic deadline. This way, it would enable your superior to understand your capabilities even better. If you encounter a problem, approach your superior and ask. It wouldn’t make the problem go away by avoiding it.

Getting your superior to ‘think’ and ‘feel’ like you is indeed a challenge. But if you find yourself having worked for five years with no signs of any increment, promotion or bonuses maybe it is time to re-think your relationship with your superior. Faced with a dead-end situation, you’ll know that it is the time to refurbish your outdated Resume and browse the classifieds.




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