Building a better relationship with your superior is ALWAYS a good idea. This is the person that approves your leave, signs off on your pay rises and pitches you for that promotion.
While those things are all fab, you must ask yourself what can you do for your boss, not what can your boss do for you. In a world of social media, high speed internet and dating apps here’s the one thing that cannot be edited, deleted or face tuned. Your reputation at work. You want to have people around you who speak highly of you, who can recommend you, who trust you to get the job done and who can speak of your professional capabilities and how you nailed the role. For most of us your boss will be that person.
When you work for someone that relationship is always going to be intensified, the way your boss perceives you right now isn’t going to be the way they perceive you in a year from now. Trust me. Don’t get to hung up on the current relationship but work towards building a solid foundation for your working relationship in the future. With that being said, some bosses just aren’t going to like you that much. That’s just life and you can’t take it personal, because in most cases it isn’t. it could be as simple as you remind them of someone from school they didn’t like or your personality grinds their gears. Know when to make more of an effort or if it’s best to pull back and give them space.
Listen and learn, this is one of the greatest gifts a boss can give you. Listen to them, they are where they are today because they know their stuff. If they are willing to put their time into you to better you in your career and in return you have to listen to that golf story one more time, just do it. There will be a point to the story, even if it does take a while to get there.
Don’t wait for praise or expect it. In my younger years I would tick a job off my to-do list my boss had delegated then I would await the marching band and cheerleaders to bust into the room throwing confetti in the air and patting me on the back… Guess what? It isn’t going to happen. You are expected to do a good job because that is what you get paid to do, some people get so caught up waiting for praise that they begin to resent their bosses because they don’t feel like they are getting the accolades they deserve for getting the job done. Be confident in your abilities, your boss sees what you are doing and takes little mental notes. You are no doubt doing an amazing job (that’s why you probably still have a job)
Learn to mimic your bosses communication style. When I was an EA in Real Estate I learnt quite quickly that different bosses have different communication I would always ask my boss his preferred method of contact. Do you prefer texts when out on the road or is it best I call you? Am I free to call you after hours if I deem it necessary to discuss something important regarding a sale? One of the first bosses I worked for who was also the toughest actually didn’t use a computer at all, our communication style was chatting across the room or post it notes. It takes time and street smarts to learn how everyone functions differently. They will like your company much more if you mimic the way they work and how they communicate with you.
Time is of the essence. Arrive before your boss and set yourself up for the day, usually they will be pretty routine and arrive at a similar time each day so just ensure you arrive most mornings before them being tardy isn’t a good look and most execs I know said it’s a great feeling to walk into work and see the same person there day after day, ready, eager and waiting to smash out the days’ work. Let that person be you!
Empower your boss and pick your battles wisely. Just like I was taught in hospitality and customer service roles in my teens “the customer is always right” well so is your boss, learn to take feedback and constructive criticism in your stride. It isn’t personal, it is merely their way of guiding you on a path to success. Don’t talk back, take a deep breath and listen to what they have to say. They won’t always be right but some of these battles are better fought at a different time in a different place when emotions aren’t high and you have had time to think about a clear rebuttal. When the times come, make your boss look good. Smile warmly when he introduces you to clients or friends, be present, exude confidence and show your worth through the quality of your work.
You don’t have to be BBF’s. I’ve had a few bosses in my day but there is only really one or two I would count as friends and they have become a lot closer since I ceased working for them. Your boss doesn’t need to know about last night’s date or how Friday night drinks went with the girls. Stay away from adding them to your social media accounts, Facebook is personal and whether they catch you online in work hours or see a drunk status update it just isn’t a good idea to have them scrolling through your photos from Schoolies and your best friends’ birthday party from a year ago.
You want to have a solid long term relationship with your boss and if nurtured properly you will enjoy the benefits long term. Be a team player with a can-do attitude and the rest will easily follow.