How To... Impress Your Boss
Like It Or Not, Your Boss Is One Of The Most Important And Influential People In Your Life
Why Is It Important?
Like it or not, your boss is one of the most important and influential people in your life. As well as holding the ability to make or break your career, they can dictate your mood, decide whether you're worthy of a pay rise or bonus, and generally impact on your overall happiness.
Impressing the boss is a much derided activity and will often be misconstrued as sycophancy by fellow workers. But this shouldn't deter you from doing your best for them. Remember, the relationship with your boss is a partnership - the better job they do at the company, the better you'll likely do, and vice versa.
Where Do I Start?
Learning more about your boss and their goals and aspirations will enable you to better relate to them and underpin their endeavours.
"Seek the views of those who work well with and understand this person," advises Lisa Rowles, managing consultant at people development company TMI.
"What's really important to this individual, personally and professionally?"
Consider their style, needs, drivers, what keeps them awake at night, how many others interact with them and how much time they have.
Aim to consistently deliver and follow through on assignments, projects and day-to-day tasks. Keep on top of your workload, honour commitments and deadlines, and don't make promises or guarantees that you can't keep.
Show evidence of being a team player and be supportive of colleagues. Refrain from criticism or doing anything that might compromise your boss's position. This doesn't mean falling in with everyone else's view of how things should be done, but it is necessary that you are seen as co-operative and prepared to take responsibility for your actions.
Build A Rapport
Effective dialogue and presentation will not only help you establish a strong working relationship with your boss, but will also help to ensure your best efforts are regarded in a positive light.
Tread carefully when detailing your accomplishments though, as you don't want your communication to be misinterpreted as bragging. When responding to requests from your boss, be enthusiastic, offer options and ask relevant questions, says Rowles. "Imagine that you are a trusted adviser of this individual, who is counting on you for your honesty, ability and knowledge - respond appropriately."
Figure out what you are particularly good at and enjoy doing, and find ways to make full use of these talents outside of your day-to-day responsibilities. If numbers are your thing, try to get involved in departmental budget planning. If facilitation comes easy, volunteer to take a workshop.
Make sure any input is "worthwhile, short, sharp and positive to create maximum impact," says Rowles.
Make It Easy For Your Boss
Take the pressure off your boss by offering potential solutions to problems wherever possible and be seen to contingency plan. Prioritise your work to help to jointly achieve goals and, if you really want to get on, be prepared to go the extra distance to deliver a high-quality performance when the occasion demands it.
If You Only Do 5 Things
- Appreciate what makes your boss tick
- Express your loyalty
- Keep them in the picture
- Identify problems and offer possible solutions
- Be prepared to go the extra mile if necessary
*M Junaid Tahir