Most of us report to someone who is our leader, our oversight, our boss. Whether this is your principal, your team leader, or your department or district leader, the relationship you have with your boss is critical for your work success and career progress. (If you’re a new boss, here’s some helpful tips for you). A good working relationship makes work more enjoyable for everyone.
Here’s 5 important beliefs you must have in order to get along with your boss:
Getting to know my boss will help both of us.
You are in charge of the quality of the relationship you have with your boss. Getting to know them – their likes, passions, bug-bears and interests – will help you to build a quality relationship with them. Even if your staff culture needs to be healthier or you have trouble with a negative co-worker, your relationship with your boss needs to be something that you intentionally work on. Ask questions, be curious, listen to what they’re saying – do whatever it takes to really get to know them.
Action step: Focus on being interested, not interesting.
My boss is just a person too.
Believe it or not, your boss has feelings and family and experiences just like you do. They face challenges and hard times, just like you do. They are a real person with real feelings, and just like you, they make mistakes. It is unrealistic to expect them to get things right all the time. Accept the fact that they will make mistakes and respond in a way that reflects how you would like them to respond when you make a mistake.
Action step: Accept your boss’s weaknesses.
My boss’s behaviour and attitude is not my responsibility.
One of the most defining moments I have had in my teaching career was when I realized that ‘I cannot control my boss’s behaviour’. I am not responsible for their attitude or actions. I remember adopting a phrase, ‘I have no attachment to that.’ When my boss would lose control or say inappropriate things, I would quietly say to myself, ‘I am not attached to this poor behaviour and attitude.’ It was a very releasing thing to do. I still stood up for myself and was strong, but I didn’t allow someone else’s behaviour to determine mine. This really helped me to rediscover happiness at work.
Action step: Take responsibility for MY attitude and behaviour.
I am a problem solver.
Many times, we take problems to our boss, rather than solutions. One of the quickest ways to build influence in the relationship with your boss is to be a problem SOLVER. Instead of going to your boss with a long list of issues, go to him or her with a long list of solutions to those issues. Believing you are a problem solver is a key belief to getting along with your boss.
Action step: Sigh less, solve more.
Good relationships take time.
A good relationship requires your effort consistently, over time. There will be ups and downs and challenges along the way, but when those challenges are handled well, your working relationship will be stronger.
Action step: Take a long view.
This week’s assignment:
Which one of these five beliefs would most help you with your boss? Focus on that belief this week.
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.