How To Manage Your Boss!
Rate Your Boss out of 10
Do you have one? Most people do and my guess is yours is wonderful! They understand you, appreciate your needs and most importantly respect what you do and how you do it?
Sorry, that’s the description for those people who gave themselves a 10 for their relationship with their boss. As you probably didn’t, my guess would be you:
Don’t think they give you a clear direction
Wouldn’t actually care if you were there or not
It’s not easy doing a brilliant job when the person(s) who should be giving you the most support is actually giving you the most grief.
Then there are the hierarchical levels and political aspects to think about too, followed by targets and measurements, not to mention the new styles of Management such as ‘Matrix’ (who’s my boss today) or ‘Laissez-faire’ (who cares who’s my boss today). Large organisations have multiple layers of management and dozens of bosses, smaller organisations may only have one or two.
No matter how large or small an organisation is here’s something I learned from my second (and best) boss. If your boss is giving you a hard time it’s probably because they are getting a harder time from someone else.
If that’s true, and you usually won’t know for sure, then it makes sense that your boss needs a new manager and that person should be you. I don’t mean get your boss’, boss’ job I mean learn how to manage them from where you are by stealth.
Reality check – most people think that it’s their boss’ job to manage them. If you want a brilliant life then you have to learn how to manage your boss – without them knowing it. It’s easier than you think and it makes your life and their life better too.
Here are 10 tips to manage your boss.
Work out their type – then play to it!
Lots of companies spend thousands of pounds attempting to profile their staff. Bosses love this as they get to find out ‘what type of leader they really are’. Sometimes it’s formatted as colours, shapes or even animals which are used to describe their ‘predominant style’.
Here’s the best bit – as you work for them you could have done it for half the price. Why do they spend so much money when you could have told them (for the cost of a curry) that they are a ‘blue, thruster, antelope with polygon tendencies’? I’ll never know. The point is that if your boss has a style, bite your lip and play to it most (not all) of the time and life becomes easier faster.
Help your boss to make decisions
Most bosses don’t like making decisions. You may think ‘that’s their job’ and perhaps you are right. But bosses love someone who will say, ‘I think we should do…xyz* and here’s why’
• It’s a good idea to replace ‘xyz’ with some genuinely brilliant ideas or you’ll find your boss likes you even less.
Help their memory
In meetings, a quick update of where you left off and the key actions you were working on can be critical to a busy boss. Remember you may be 10% or less of their time so make it easy for them to get up to speed with you.
Be quick to summarize
Bosses are busy. When you get an instruction or at the end of a meeting, quickly replay the key decisions and your next actions – then get out of there.
Know the difference between important and urgent
Sometimes we think we are the only person that our boss should be interested in – especially when something is (in our mind) urgent.
It can drive you nuts when they don’t appear to be interested in your ‘urgent’ item – but just stop for a minute and ask how important it is.
If it’s both high on the importance and the urgent ranking then it’s time to shout.
Accuracy – even if your boss is not
If you have a sloppy boss the chances are you will be appreciated much more if you focus on being accurate. If you have a precise boss then the same is true.
This is one of those unfair rules but it’s no excuse saying that they should be more accurate if you don’t take the time to be more precise too.
Prepare and Simplify
I think I speak for all bosses when I say lack of preparation is one of the most annoying clangers when you are managing a team. This is closely followed by overcomplicated explanations and plans.
The answer is in the title, if you can be prepared and make complicated ideas and concepts simple you’ll be loved by bosses all your life.
Problems and Answers
‘Let’s think of some ways it can be done’ is the corny but classic brass plaque on my friend Chris’s desk.
I had a boss once who said, ‘Don’t come to me with problems, come to me with solutions for approval’.
When you have a problem and you say to your boss, ‘Here’s the challenge… And here’s a couple of ways we can deal with it’, I guarantee you’ll be flavour of the month.
Never assume they know what you are talking about. Technical jargon usually fails to impress as does the modern management gimmicks you picked up from your last ‘offsite’.
If you get the feeling you’re ‘dumbing down’ too much, then move up a gear until you are at the same speed as your boss.
Welcome delegation and be easy to delegate to
Be seen to be open to taking responsibility from your boss and be genuinely open to taking on more responsibility.
Bosses have sleepless nights about delegating so make it easy and you’ll quickly find a friendlier side to your boss
Be Super Trustworthy
I had a colleague who said, ‘I don’t trust any one of my staff, they always let you down.’ Don’t be anyone – be the one who can be trusted.
About the Author: Michael is one of the very best and most acclaimed motivational speakers in the world. He works with a diverse range of groups from FTSE 100 companies, prisons, youth organisations, government bodies, educational establishments and sport teams.
He is also the author of three books including the international best-seller 'How To Be Brilliant'. Michael has been called 'the cure to to an average life. Visit Michael’s website http://www.michaelheppell.com
Read his brand new blog http://thebrillianceblog.blogspot.com/