Most employees forget that it’s not just their boss who is managing them — they are also managing their boss. This doesn’t mean manipulating your boss. Rather, it means building a two-way relationship in order to best accomplish shared goals as a team.
When you manage this dynamic well, you create the groundwork for future success and career progression. Likewise, you’ll be more engaged at work, produce better results, and develop your own skills faster.
Manage Up Through Trust
Sometimes you have to manage “up” and not wait for direction to come from your boss down to you. This proactive approach fosters trust. At its simplest, trust is the catalyst for better working relationships, mutual respect, better performance and increased profits. When an employee can demonstrate their contributions to revenue, their boss will see their value.
Caring about the things the person cares about.
When someone feels you care, the relationship moves beyond the work and trust is built.Your job is to make your boss’s life easier. Their job is to develop you to deliver results. When you are aligned on how to accomplish those objectives, you’ve created a great relationship.
Asking your boss, “What’s the best way for me to support you?” with clear expectations of what that looks like can lead to a highly successful relationship. Yourjob is to makeyour manager look good, like it or not. Their success is your success. Put the ego aside and check in regularly on whether you’re supporting them effectively and how you canimprove. They’ll have your back when you care to ask.
When you work for a boss they are in effect one of your customers. You need them to be happy enough to want to keep retaining you, but you never want them to feel that they have full ownership rights. It’s thus critical to establish and maintain firm boundaries in regard to how you allow yourself to be treated, accessibility outside of work, etc. If you respect yourself, they will respect you.
Show You Are Dependable
You are either making things easier or more difficult for your leader. If you want to build and manage a great relationship with your boss, do your own job well first to show you are dependable. Once you have established trust, you can grow influence with your boss by helping them reach their goals, quickly supporting their ideas, as well as challenging ideas with sound solutions.