Admit it, you’ve had a boss before who was a kind of… bad at being the boss. You’re not alone in this – everybody has their stories of how one of their bosses made a terrible decision that everybody suffered from. Unfortunately, most people decide that a bad boss is “just the way life is,” and continue working under the rule of an incompetent boss. Somehow, these people manage to go to work day-in and day-out, slaving under a boss that they don’t even like (or possibly even hate).
Does this sound like you? Is this something you’ve experienced? Don’t be ashamed, it’s not your fault the boss is the way he is – his boss is the one who hired him after all. Unfortunately, you and your co-workers are the ones who have to pay the price for it (day-in, and day-out…).
Do you ever wish you could do something about it? Sure, leaving for a brand new job with a better wage would be nice, but I doubt it’s a viable strategy at the moment (if you could’ve done that, you’d already be long gone by now). So what does this leave you with?
Well lucky for you, there are a few tricks that can help you manage your boss for a change (it’s a little strange seeing that role reversal, isn’t it?), and it’s not as hard you might think it is.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at these tips, and see if you can start applying them right away. As you’ll soon find out, the process of managing the boss is nothing more than smart observation and simple adaptation.
5. Discover What Your Boss Considers Good Work
The first thing you should know about your boss is what they consider to be “good work.” Every boss will prioritize different things. For instance, doing a ton of work versus doing quality work; fostering a happy, easygoing work environment versus fostering a serious, hardworking environment… Get the point?
This is extremely important because it’s completely possible to work very hard only to find out that it was for nothing. Pay attention when the boss hands out praise or expresses joy or happiness when you or a co-worker does something. Those will be the clues about what the boss really wants from you.
4. Examine Your Boss’ Work And Communication Styles, Then Adapt To Them
This is kind of an extension of tip one, and it has to do with understanding your boss. As was mentioned earlier, some bosses are more serious while others are more easygoing. Figure out what kind of boss you have by observing him, and focus mostly on how he reacts to things. The way people act and react to things are very telling, and you can’t really “pretend” react to something with looking disingenuous about it.
If you’re wondering how to adapt to things, it’s simple – be more like them. That’s all you need to remember. If they are serious and work focused all the time, be more serious and work focused. If they enjoy stopping and chatting it up frequently, stop by and chat it up more often.
Keep in mind that other managers are in charge also, so the same treatment should be given to them as well.
3. Speak Up And Ensure Your Thoughts And Concerns Are Well Heard
A lack of communication in any relationship is a bad thing, so why wouldn’t it apply to your boss? Although it’s understandable that you might want to withhold your true feelings for fear of angering your boss, there’s another reason you should follow tip #2 (examine the boss) – to know how to communicate with them.
Once you understand your boss and how they react to things, it’s just a matter of adjusting your thoughts and concerns in a way that the boss best receives them.
2. Read Your Boss’ Moods And Adjust To Them
Generally, understanding the boss is always a good thing, but it’s also important to be able to read your bosses moods. If you can, you can always be at an advantage by timing your conversations for when they are the most receptive.
What’s the boss like after lunch? See how they treat others and take note of it. What about in the morning, before their coffee has kicked in? Are they grumpy till the caffeine kicks in? Then avoid them at all costs!
Reading your boss’s mood (or anybody’s for that matter) doesn’t require a degree in psychology; all you need to do is be observant and take mental notes of a person’s actions and reactions. After that it’s simply using your observations to your advantage.
1. Help Make Your Boss’ Life Easier
At the end of the day, your boss just wants things go smoothly. After all, he probably has a boss and is just as eager to get along with him as you are with your boss (kind of puts things in perspective, right?). So think of how you can make your boss’s life more successful and easier as well.
What are some ways to do that? One thing to do is learn when – and how – the boss likes to communicate. Maybe he has an open office between 3-4 pm; if so, then don’t bother him at any other time. Maybe he prefers email over meetings; if so, then do most of your communicating through emails.
Another tip is to always provide them with information you know will help them make decisions. If there’s a problem, present them with a solution and possibly some alternatives (depends on the boss though, some prefer not to waste time with multiple solutions and just want an answer). Every boss appreciates a problem-solver, so try and be that person.
There are several ways to make the boss be more successful at his job, you can find out how to help him best by listening to his complaints. If you can minimize those complaints for him, you’ll definitely get a better boss out of it.
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