Getting on With The Boss
So many people I work with or meet raise this as an issue. So I’m returning to it again.
I don’t know anyone who at some point in their professional life hasn’t had some worries about establishing a good working relationship with their manager.
And remember folks that is what it is about; a good working relationship.
You don’t have to be best friends. You just need to establish a relationship that allows you to work constructively with each other.
With this relationship, as with others, at the heart lies a need for good communication. The reality is that not all managers are blessed with good communication skills. With some managers, they have the skills but, for one reason or another, are not choosing to use them effectively.
So, as a worker in a silent vacuum, you try to make sense of what is going on.
The super confident may well assume; “Well I must be doing well or she/he would say something.” But many of us are less than super confident, particularly when starting a new job. We assume no news is bad news. We may even start to interpret body language, and how the boss behaves towards others, as sending some kind of message for us. Often our interpretation and our assumptions are wrong.
If your manager has not opened up communication with you, then you need to open up communication with them.
First, take some time out to think about what you want to ask and what information you require to do your job well. Then think how to put your requests into words. Now, you are ready to book some time in your manager’s diary.
Pick a time when they are likely to be fresh but not immediately after they arrive in the office and need to check their in-tray. You don’t want them distracted by emails rather than listening to you. Always open the conversation by referring to some positive points about your job and the organization. Then, when you have their attention, present your points clearly but without personal criticism. Make sure they know that you appreciate how busy they are and make sure you thank them for their time.
Follow up by suggesting you have regular, but not necessarily frequent, touchdown meetings.
I am sure that if you prepare properly, you will handle this well and both you and your boss will be pleased you took the initiative.
I wish all those starting out on or a continuing a job search this week every success.
If you are thinking about coaching, and we coaches really can add value to your job search, I would love to talk to you.
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