How to Manage Your Boss

Managing your boss effectively isn't a matter of "apple polishing" or playing politics. It involves working together to generate the best solutions for you. With all of the attention today on learning how to manage your own career, it's surprising that one of the most critical skills you need to get ahead doesn't get much attention. That skill is the fine art of managing. 

There's no question that, over the course of your career, you're likely to have some great bosses and some who aren't so good. Some may be unsupportive, some may not give you the credit you deserve for your work, and some may even take out their anxieties. While few situations are as demoralizing as having a boss who consistently finds fault with you, the good news is that most bosses really want to do their best. Under most circumstances there are steps you can follow to take control of your relationship with your boss.

Many talented people are stuck in the old paradigm of expecting their boss to manage them. They take a passive, reactive stance, waiting for direction and support. They may complain about a bad boss, but do little to turn things around. They don't know the small but essential steps they can take to establish a relationship.

If you want to influence the outcome of your relationship with your boss, you have to take responsibility. Waiting for your boss's direction can ultimately hurt your chances for advancement. Don't assume that your boss knows what you need in order to do your job well. Don't assume that your actions are synchronised with his or her expectations and priorities. Stay in touch. Communicate. Check things. Here are some action steps you can take RIGHT NOW to build a more productive and rewarding relationship.

First, identifying your boss's priorities about you is critical. By learning and attending to his/her priorities and goals, you become more valuable. This doesn't mean that you need to agree with everything your boss says. When properly handled, disagreements can be turned to agreements.
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