Would you like a better boss? Don’t jump ship or give up yet. The reality is that bosses fall all along a spectrum from great to horrible and most are in the middle – well-meaning but not entirely sure about what they’re doing.
As an executive coach, I often find that people don’t take full ownership for managing their career which includes managing their boss. When going through a rough patch with one’s boss, most assume there’s little they can do to change it. They think the relationship is entirely in the hands of the boss.
Not according tothe Harvard Business School article, ”In Pursuit of a Better Boss”, which state you need to first answer these three questions:
1. Am I meeting expectations?
Determine, clarify and regularly review her priorities. Know your targets, work out a plan for hitting them and get them accomplished within budget and time frame. One important aspect of a boss-subordinate relationship is trust. Does your boss trust you? Have you demonstrated to her satisfaction your competence and character – the two pillars of trust? Does she believe you know what to do and how to do it?
2. Do I and my boss see the current situation in the same way?
Do you see the problems you both face in the same way and do you agree about where you’re going and how you’re going to get there? Also do you even understand the problems your boss faces? If you don’t, she will inevitably wonder if she has your support and loyalty.
3. Am I able to see my boss as a person, not just an authority figure?
Behind your boss’s title is someone who has hopes, aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, frustrations and even fears. Do you know enough about her that you can begin to see the world through her eyes based on her unique background, training, and experience? How can you use this knowledge to adapt how you deal with her, just as you use such insights to deal effectively with others in your life?
Smart Moves Tip:
Managing upward – developing a win-win relationship with your boss –is a crucial career management activity. A good relationship, especially in the early stages of your career, can put you on an upward trajectory. At the same time a bad one can stall your career advancement. Also check out Boss Problems: How to Handle Them.
Do you know what YOU do today will directly influence your career in 3, 5 or 10 years?
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Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle - the Actualizer – career strategist and leadership coach.