Most of us want a strong relationship with our managers, but not many of us have one. Having a strong relationship with your manager can lead to improvements in your work performance and a generally more enjoyable work environment. If these are elements that are missing from your work life, then this post is for you! Let’s dive into the practical details.
4 Steps to Strengthening Relationship with Your Manager:
Having a friendly and positive relationship with the manager can do wonders for the employee’s work performance and makes the environment in the office considerably more relaxed; according to Forbes, “A bad relationship with your manager will affect all other relationships in the office and can lead to career stagnation. A great relationship with your boss is a competitive advantage for any employee, but it takes work. Make sure you’re doing everything possible to foster this positive connection.”
The four vital steps to strengthening your relationship with your manager are:
1. Get Clear on Expectations
The first and most important step is to ensure you and your manager are on the same page regarding what they expect from you. While it would be great if every manager was able to clearly articulate their goals and objectives and outline what they expect from you to help them get there, that’s not usually how it works … so accept that and start a real conversation with your manager. Ask them about their goals and objectives and then really think about what you could be doing to help them.
2. Ask Questions
Often, we try to “figure out” how to best communicate or position things to our manager and sometimes we’re right and other times not so much. I’ve found it much easier to ask them how they want me to communicate with them and to ask in the early stages of the relationship if you can. For example, it’s likely you will not always agree with your manager about every task or decision; therefore, ask them, “Hey, I was curious, in situations when we might not see eye to eye on something, what’s the best way for me to share my perspective with you?”
3. Be Positive and Gain Perspective
Let’s face it, everyone has annoying habits – even managers – and the more you focus on these annoying habits the more of them you will see. Remember: what you focus on grows. When your boss exhibits an annoying habit, try these two things:
- Ask yourself what opportunity is being presented to you. For example, let’s say your boss has the annoying habit of interrupting you – what opportunity is being presented to you? This may be difficult to do, and your initial response may be to say, “There’s no opportunity here.” Trust me – 9 times out of 10 there is, and you just need to dig deep to find it. The more focus you’re able to put on the potential opportunity presented to you, the less likely you are to feel stuck and frustrated.
- Identify 3 positive habits your manager exhibits. For example, maybe your boss is excellent at supporting you and getting you and your team the resources, they need. The more you can focus on the manager’s positive habits, the easier it will be to accept and/or let go of whatever annoying habits might also exist.
4. Build A Relationship
This does not necessarily mean building a friendship. You can have a great relationship with your boss and be or not be friends – either way is absolutely ok.
Building a relationship with your boss means getting to know them as people, their needs, motivations, hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc. Getting to know these things can help you really connect with them on a deeper level and build trust; when we have these things, it becomes so much easier to work together and find solutions when challenges, stress, or uncertainty arises.
Strengthening your professional relationship with your manager does take time but I promise you, it will be time well spent.
If you aren’t sure where to start, shoot me an email today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get a conversation started!