Reality check! Your job is not only about planning events, writing code or answering phones; it’s mainly about managing your relationship with the person to whom you report.
If you want your boss to take you seriously, then figure out what makes them tick. What can you do to make their working life easier? How can you help them achieve their goals?
There are two sides to this: things you should do and things you shouldn’t do.
What to do
- Keep your department’s goals in mind and consider new and better ways to achieve them.
- Be more prepared than your boss expects. Come into every meeting with properly researched facts and background. Be ready to explain your ideas.
- Understand that everything is a test. In every situation at work, your attitude determines the outcome. Show grace under pressure. Be assertive but open to constructive criticism.
- Become a leader. Offer to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Take the initiative.
- Know your value. Deliver excellent work and negotiate proper compensation for it.
- Keep your word. If you said you would do something, do it! No excuses.
- Say no. If you are expected to do something unethical, refuse politely but firmly. Explain why.
Your real boss is the one who walks around under your hat.
– Napoleon Hill
What not to do
- Don’t be a doormat. Volunteering for every task will give you less time to do the important things that really advance your boss’s agenda.
- Don’t blindly perform tasks you don’t understand. Discuss with your supervisor if you think a procedure is unnecessary or inefficient. Ask what the purpose of a step is if you are unsure.
- Don’t say “I’ll try”. Your boss wants a commitment from you. Either say you will do something – and then do it – or explain why you won’t be able to do it.
- Don’t act, speak or dress inappropriately. Project professionalism, intelligence and competence with everything you do, say and wear.
- Don’t gossip or badmouth anyone. If you don’t have anything constructive to say, keep quiet. Don’t start or repeat rumours.
- Don’t run to your boss with small concerns and tales about co-workers. Don’t be the bringer of problems; be the bringer of solutions.
- Don’t mix personal and professional. Minimise personal conversations, phone calls and texting at your desk. Don’t get involved with a co-worker. Keep your private life private.
Don’t be a soloist. Work as a member of a team with shared goals.
The best employees are those who bring real energy and initiative to the job.
– Marillyn Hewson