I am writing this paper for a number of reasons, but primarily to emphasize how very important it is to establish and maintain a productive working relationship with our boss.
In order to be promoted and advance within our organization, it is almost certain that our boss must be an enthusiastic advocate, yet, surveys reveal that 50% of us do not have a good working relationship with our boss!
I received many emails after a webinar I lead a few months ago, and every single one of them was about a boss: e.g., he is not a good communicator, she does not seem interested in my success, he provides no positive feedback, and other similar concerns.
If we do not have a productive working relationship and we want to be successful, as we all do, then we need to fix it!
What I don't want us to do is gripe about our boss or complain to colleagues. This type of behavior is negative energy and adversely affects our work and our teams, serving no good purpose.
It may not seem easy to sit down with our boss and have an honest conversation about working together to create a relationship that will serve both of us better. I know it’s a difficult conversation to initiate, yet it’s vitally important.
- A problem discussed is a problem half solved.
- My boss and I are teammates.
- My success is good for our team, my boss and me.
- I must learn what my boss expects, needs and wants from me.
- What does success for me look like?
It is absolutely appropriate for me to share with my boss what I need from him in order for me to do my best work.
We all have development needs and are well advised to have a personal development action plan, seeking continuous improvement. It’s a good idea for us to share these needs and plans with our boss, asking for his help and feedback on a regular basis. In doing so, remember to be easy to work with. Be receptive, not right! Also, note that soft skills matter a lot! I cannot overemphasize the power of signs of appreciation and gratitude, positive energy, and caring.
Please realize the importance of our relationship with our boss. I was fortunate to have a fantastic boss for much of my career. He was a boss who was always ready to help me do good work and wanted me to succeed. I know what an advantage this is.
My call to action this week: If we are one of the 50% who does not have a productive working relationship with our boss, first sit down and write down our concerns and our reasons for such concerns. Next, make an appointment with our boss for a respectful and constructive conversation.
I know we all want to do great work and to be successful. Our boss is captain of our team. Let's be the kind of teammates that succeed!