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Managing your manager

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

When you're thrust into working environments, you deal with all sorts of people on a daily basis. If you don't get along with some of them, the hours can drag on. If these people are your bosses, the days can seem like torture.

Make your working relationship work better. How to Partner With Your Boss

Here's how to manage your manager:

1. Accept that most managers won't change. If you don't want to find a new job, you should probably accept whatever it is that frustrates you about your manager. Have a mantra when you get overwhelmed, such as "This too shall pass.”

2. Schedule more time with your boss, as challenging as it might be. Sit down with the boss for 10 to 15 minutes weekly. Schedule it ahead of time, have an agenda and stick to it. Cover one item at a time to stay focused and catch details. Your primary objective is to leave with an action plan. If he cancels at the last minute, reschedule it at that exact moment. If he keeps postponing it, say, "You and I haven't had a business conversation over the past few days and it's affecting our productivity.” If your manager travels full time, set this process up via email.

Our new recording, How to Partner With Your Boss, will give you the tools you need to help you—and your boss—get on the same page and move forward together. You'll come away with concrete ideas for smoothing and improving your partnership with your boss, and make yourself an indispensable part of the management team. Learn More.

3. Know what's important on the daily schedule. You could be working on a project and suddenly find out that it's not the emergency du jour. Greet your boss every morning with "What's top of the agenda for you today?” You'll look like a go-getter and a team player—especially if you're proactive and foresee a crisis and avert it. Bosses love that! That includes noticing when they leave their cell phone, suit jacket, itinerary or laptop in the office. Also, schedule regular maintenance on the office headaches (i.e., printers, copiers, etc.), make sure you have enough supplies and confirm all appointments and hotel/airline reservations.

4. Stay on top of your projects so when your boss needs a status update, you've got one ready, and always, always, meet deadlines on time (or ahead of time). If you see a problem with a deadline say, "Let me point out something to help us avoid an upcoming challenge.”

By applying the above tips to your work routine, there'll be fewer headaches and you'll have successfully managed your manager. After all, they couldn't do it without you, right?

In addition to examining your role at work (and figuring out what you may need to change), we'll reveal critical areas where you and your boss need to agree.

This recording will help you discover:
  • A handy checklist to help you and your boss determine your level of authority on any task
  • Ways in which you and your boss have more in common than you might think
  • The power of positive re-framing
  • How you could be sabotaging your own credibility
  • How to help your boss communicate what his/her expectations are
  • A simple customer service technique you can use to determine what your boss's expectations are
  • Clutter breeds confusion: streamline your workspace for maximum efficiency
  • How and when you should be saying "No”
  • A plan to develop your own professional trademark
  • The difference between characteristics and behaviors and why it's important to know the difference
Get yours today!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

CHILESHE MULENGA August 19, 2014 at 9:07 am

I have learnt so much in such a detailed paper


Niki April 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

Great article, great tips! Sharon, thank you for your comments – you sound to be a real asset to your boss and your company, kudos to you on your initiative!


Sharon April 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I give my boss two priority lists each week. One is completed items. The other are items for the upcoming week. During the week, I email him and tell him what to cross off. The list is designed with a column for him to renumber items should he need to. This year, he reordered fewer than five priority items.

My cell phone has two alarms that ring each work day. One rings 20 minutes prior to lunch. The other 20 minutes prior to close. I email or call my boss and see whether their is anything he wants me to focus on just in case he has a last minute appointment after lunch or a meeting the next day that I was not told about yet.

I also remember his own phrases and parrot him when appropriate.

Because I work so well on my own, I don’t want my boss to feel like he is not needed, so I periodically ask him whether he has something he would like rushed or whether there is something he would like that I did not list.

My boss is a perfectionist and has told me that the extremely complicated payrolls with multiple cross relational algorythms I work on that takes days to complete, should be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Even though the County says I run the most complex payroll in our county, I only had to make one or two very minor adjustments this year after an employee gave me. I explain to my boss that I strive for perfection and achieving perfection would be admirable but perfection is not a realistic standard.

My boss knows I encourage employees to come to me with any problems I may be able to help them with.

Even when people tell me to give up hope of improving a work relationship, I still look for ways to build bridges so I can work more effectively with even the most difficult personalities.

Whenever I can find commonality, I refer to common ground to improve my communications.

I am not ashamed to say that I also pray for God’s intervention and for my abilities to ever improve so others can find Jesus through my everyday interactions with my co-workers and manager. That means I have to be humble, forgiving of them and of myself, and willing to take a good look at what is really happening. It requires empathy.

So the world goes round and I find ways to improve most days. For that I am grateful.


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