When mid-level leaders start working on a new team, the first thing they want to know is who their boss is and how they can develop a good relationship. Having a positive, healthy relationship with those in positions of authority is vital to job satisfaction and long-term success. Though, it’s not always that simple. Many bosses are overwhelmed, overextended, overworked, and have little time to manage a relationship. It may take some thought and effort to figure out how to make your relationship work, but you can and should take ownership of it for your own happiness and job satisfaction. Here are 3 tips for successfully managing up:
Understand your boss
Learn what makes them tick, what drives them and how they get inspired. Do they prefer to look at the big picture or are they motivated by the process? Learn to read their energy levels and adjust accordingly. Notice what times of day or times of the week are they most receptive to you. Ask yourself how you can adjust your demeanor and behaviors to best support them depending on the situation.
Learn their priorities and goals
When you know the priorities of your boss, you are in a better position to assist your manager in his/her tasks. Additionally, when you are able to help them accomplish their goals, they will see you as someone dependable and reliable. These are two traits that sought-after managers look for in their employees.
Anticipate their needs
Learn to look ahead at their schedule and calendar and step in to help. Ask them how you can help ease their load, such as how you can help with preparing for an event or meeting. By keeping situational awareness, you will be able to make meaningful contributions that they will appreciate, especially if they are swamped.
By spending time with your manager and communicating effectively, you will be able to create a foundation for a good relationship and get to know them quicker. Set up a time to have regular check-ins to communicate to build understanding. By spending time with your manager, you will not only learn how to help them better, but it will put you in a position to get the support you need. Regardless of your current relationship with your boss, by getting to know them better and learning to successfully manage up, you can take the necessary steps to have a positive relationship.
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