Managing the boss for better career management

I have had my fair share of good and not-so-good bosses, and everyone I know of has a boss story to tell! Whether you like it or not, ability to manage your relationship with your boss is critical skill for anyone serious in managing their careers. In Managing your boss, Julie Poland lists a number of things to keep in mind when managing this relationship. I especially like the one about ‘tending to the relationship’:

Tend to the relationship. Your boss is more than her job description – she is a person. People tend to work best with people who are likable, and you can become more likable by managing your own emotions and seeking to find common ground with her. Talk about shared interests, and if you don’t think you have any, find out what the boss’s are and learn something about them. Build the boss’s trust in you by doing what you say you’re going to do, and by being straightforward with her.

I call it ‘knowing your boss’, which is the best way to know how to build a good relationship with your boss. I have written on this topic on my other blog (see Managing your boss and Trust in manager-employee relationship) based on my experience in India and US, and I must say that relationship building is best done by knowing the person, in this case the boss. Especially in a place like India where we do not tend to be confrontational and direct, it can be hard to know your boss well (and I can tell from my experience as a boss that I would like to be understood!).

What has been your experience in the matter?

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