If you find yourself in a tough relationship with your boss, instead of updating your résumé and embarking on a quest for a new job, learn how to improve your relationship. Start now by asking yourself these four questions.
- Are you the problem? Are you doing things that are causing a rift between you and your boss? For example, are you late to work, distracted in meetings and submitting less-than-your-best work? Take a good hard look in the mirror and ask, “Am I contributing to the tension?” If you are, take action to fix your mistakes by showing up on time, paying attention and bringing your A-game.
- Are you offering solutions? When you encounter a problem at work, do you immediately take it to your boss without first trying to find a solution for yourself? This may cause tension between you and your boss, and communicate that you aren’t proactive or ready to handle challenges. Next time you’re faced with a problem, make sure you bring both the challenges and some solutions to the table when you go talk to your boss about it.
- Are you avoiding face time? Just because emails are quick doesn’t mean they’re time-saving. If you’re working on a project and need assistance from your boss, don’t overwhelm her with emails. Instead, map out what you want to discuss, make it concise and then go talk to her face-to-face.
- Are you adaptable? Your boss’s habits and preferences will evolve over time, and it’s up to you not to become complacent and think that you don’t need to be mindful of those changes. In your routine meetings with your boss, ask if he has any additional concerns and look for signs of stress. His reaction to certain topics will give you insight into his current situation, and then you can adapt accordingly.
— Adapted from “4 Ways to Improve the Working Relationship with Your Boss,” Anita Bruzzese, Intuit’s “The Fast Track” blog.