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Managing Your Manager

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Building a Stronger Relationship with Your Boss: 3 Key Steps

Developing a positive and effective relationship with your boss is crucial for your professional success. While much advice is available on managing subordinates, guidance on improving interactions with your boss is often scarce. However, mastering the art of managing up can significantly contribute to your growth and achievements. If you find yourself dealing with a difficult boss, there are steps you can take to improve the situation. Let’s explore three key steps that can enhance your relationship with your boss.


1. Take Ownership

Instead of playing the blame game, take charge of the relationship. Recognize that you cannot change your boss or anyone else. However, you can modify your own approaches and behaviors to foster better interactions. Brainstorm and identify changes you are willing to make in how you engage with your boss. Consider new ways to initiate contact, ask questions, and make requests. Take a proactive approach and commit to working out any issues between you and your boss. By focusing on your own actions and attitudes, you can pave the way for a more constructive relationship.


2. Understand Expectations

Gain clarity on what your boss expects from you. Request regular meetings to keep your boss informed about your activities and accomplishments. Pay attention to your boss’s management style and adapt accordingly. Some bosses may prefer a hands-on approach, while others may be more hands-off. Observe and learn how your boss operates, and tailor your communication and work style to align with their preferences. If you’re uncertain, seek guidance from colleagues who have successfully interacted with your boss. Be adaptable and view this as an opportunity for personal growth and learning.


3. Focus on Performance

Once you have a clear understanding of expectations, focus on delivering exceptional work. Fulfill your responsibilities diligently and strive to exceed expectations. Initiative and exceptional performance are highly valued by most bosses. Make yourself indispensable not only through your assigned duties but also by actively seeking opportunities to contribute more. Keep track of your accomplishments, and when appropriate, highlight your contributions to your boss. Seek their feedback and guidance on additional ways you can contribute to the team or organization.

While seeking advice from others who understand your boss better may be helpful, be cautious about going over your boss’s head, as it can backfire. In some instances, despite your best efforts, resolving differences with your manager may prove challenging. If the situation becomes intolerable or consistently makes you unhappy, it may be necessary to consider transferring to another department or even seeking opportunities outside the company. It’s important to be honest with yourself and prioritize your well-being and professional growth.

Reflecting on personal experiences, have you ever had a rocky relationship with a boss that eventually transformed into a positive connection? Share your story and the lessons you learned along the way.


Anjela Mangrum, the founder of Mangrum Career Solutions, is a trusted authority in executive recruitment for the manufacturing industry! She’s dedicated to matching top-tier candidates with rewarding opportunities in the field. Connect with her on LinkedIn and join the MCS LinkedIn group for the latest in manufacturing recruitment news and trends. Let’s partner in your career success!