My boss closed his eyes and tipped his face back to the heavens.
“Ughhhh, Joan, can you just be proactive, please?”
I shifted on my feet and flapped my pen against the blank sheet in my notebook, unsure of how to answer. I brought this stuff with me.
I’d interrupted him again to ask a question, and now I silently cursed at myself for not staying in my chair.
“I’m buried here. You’ve been trained on how to do your job; please take some time to think when you get stuck, before you come to me with questions. I really need you to problem-solve.”
My bosses and I didn’t always work well together. I take full responsibility for that; I didn’t really know what I was doing for a long while, or how to fix things, or why I should. I mean – my boss was just the person who made sure I left my blankets before I wanted to, and who paid me enough to keep me from feeling secure after I paid my bills, and who I had to get permission from if I wanted to take any time out of my life for myself.
There was a lot I didn’t know, for a long time. And since you don’t want to be like I was, let’s get into today’s subject. It’s Step 7 to using your job to achieve any goal (you can READ THIS to get all the steps), and Step 7 is this:
Work well with your boss.
This step is very involved, and all your time and effort will be so worth it.
So here we go! Here’s how to work well with your boss, and become a great asset to the company:
(1) Know why you’re doing this.
This comes first, because it’s how you’ll keep going when the going gets tough, your nerves are fraying, and your brain is screaming at your fingers to let your frustration out loud and clear.
You’re investing in this because you can use this job to achieve your biggest personal goals (if that’s not familiar to you, READ THIS), and this process of making a positive working relationship with your boss is a critical piece.
(2) Get to know him/her.
This part by itself is pretty extensive. You want to find out your boss’s job description, and how you can help him/her fulfill those responsibilities, and spend more time on priorities. You want to know who your boss answers to, and how you can make him/her look good to that person. You want to know how your boss wants to be updated, and all the details involving that. You want to learn your boss’s conversation style, and start speaking with him/her accordingly. You want to know your boss’s work-related goals, and help him/her to achieve those. You want to know your boss’s work-related challenges, and how you can help him/her to overcome them. You want to know what your boss loves about the position, and how you can help him/her to have more of whatever-that-is. And you want to know what your boss values in an employee, so you can deliver those things.
(3) Start taking action on the things you identified in Step 2.
(4) Know what to do if you find that you don’t like your boss.
Since all of us are human, and not all of us are easy to get along with, have a game plan for if you get to know your boss and don’t like what you learn. I went over it in THIS POST, so you can read it now if you haven’t.
(5) Find more ways to work efficiently together, and protect your boss’s time.
You might be able to make a better system for giving updates, or for getting questions answered or approval on things, or for completing tasks that intersect with your boss’s. You also want to improve the emails you send to your boss, and help him/her to delegate things, and give him/her uninterrupted time each day to work on priorities.
(6) Be a solution to the problems.
You want to know how to respond to the day-to-day challenges, and the things that hit the fan and make everyone else throw their hands up in panic. You wan t to be calm, collected, level-headed and optimistic. You want to come with solutions. And you want to be able to problem-solve on your own - as much as you have the ability and authority to do it.
Yes, it’s extensive. But you’ll be so glad you took it on.
Your boss is such a valuable connection. This process of making your working relationship with him/her better will be so good for you. You’ll build priceless, relevant skills and attributes. You’ll give yourself opportunities that would not be there otherwise. You could be given even more connections, who could take you places you don’t even know exist yet.
You want to do this. Give it a try, and then come back and comment here or send me an email (joanie@elmoregroupinc), and let me know how it’s going!
And if you’re ready to take this to the next level, start the Use Your Job 90-Day Challenge, and make your time at work work for you. The challenge is given as a book, you can choose the paperback workbook version, or the Kindle edition, and every day for ninety days, you’ll get an action to take, a habit start, or a strategy to put in place, that will make your job positively and directly impact your ability to achieve anything you want.