It is a common saying that people leave jobs not because of their work environment, pay or the company itself. People leave jobs because of their Managers. If your boss is friendly and supportive there is no place like work. You do your job with full dedication and look forward to return to work every day.
Managing your Manager is an art, indeed. You have to courteous but not to the extent of sucking up to them. However, mishandling the boss or misjudging the requirements and expectations could result in you getting a pink slip.
Here are 7 tips to manage your boss, and get the best out your work life.
1. Remember why they pay you: to do your job. People often get confused about the whole boss thing. If you’re in a company bigger than, say, 10 people, you don’t really work for your boss, you work for the company. You were hired and you’re paid to do a job. So focus on doing it and doing it well.
2. Take the initiative. Executives and managers don’t just like it when employees take the initiative to solve big problems and get things done — they love it. Thus the expression, it’s sometimes better to ask for forgiveness than permission.
3. Focus on yourself. If there’s an issue between you and your boss, there’s a 50-50 chance that it’s you. And, between the two of you, you’re better off focusing on yourself rather than your boss. The reason is simple. You can’t control or change your boss; you can only control or change you. Tolstoy wrote: “Everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.” Smart guy, that Tolstoy.
4. Give your boss what he needs to do his job — no more, no less. Of course, there are micromanaging control freaks who should probably see a shrink. But oftentimes, bosses micromanage because they’re not getting what they need to do their jobs effectively or they’re concerned that you’re not cutting it. The best thing to do is ask what’s going on and what he needs. Then give it to him — no more, no less.
5. Have periodic one-on-one meetings. If you have weekly one-on-one meetings with your boss, you should be able to cover everything that needs to be covered and then be on your way. That often relieves a lot of the disruptive ad-hoc communication and unnecessary fire drills.
6. Get advice from someone who knows your boss better than you do. If you’re really befuddled about how to work with your boss, ask somebody who knows him well.
7. Be open and honest… with yourself. If things aren’t working out, then maybe it’s time to move on. Sure, it’s a tough job market, so that may take a while, but it’s almost always for the better and you’ll both be relieved once the dust settles. Of course, you can try to wait him out, but you may end up getting fired, in which case you’ll be leaving on her terms, not yours. Something to consider.
Also check our 20 power tips for successful career growth.
Steve Tobak is a consultant and former high-tech senior executive. He’s managing partner of Invisor Consulting, a management consulting and business strategy firm. Contact Steve here.