letter to a new manager

8 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy | Business | TIME.com

In career, Communication, listening on May 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm

8 Ways to Keep Your Boss Happy | Business | TIME.com.

Another great forward (keep them coming) a good, short, list that works for me both as a manager and an employee (though of course, some days are better than others).

1) Be true to your word. This includes not overcommitting.

2) No surprises, ever.

3) Be prepared on the details.

4) Take your job seriously.

5) Have your boss’s back. Advise against decisions that aren’t the right ones but once the decision is taken, get on with it.

6) Provide solutions, not complaints.

7) Communicate in plain language.

8) Know your real job.  They describe this as “making your boss successful,” while I’d want to expand this to fulfilling the mandate of the organization.

The commentary that I would have added to this list is largely covered by another article I found this week called  How to make your boss love you – bottom line – find out what your boss values and learn to value it as well.

Some other really good points are highlighted here as well including the reminder that bosses are human (go figure) and that we all have a responsibility speak up if we are unhappy (but we must do so intelligently).

- Pay attention to what kinds of questions your boss asks so you get a better understanding of the types of things she cares about.

-  Use the communication methods she prefers.

-  Speak up when you’re unhappy. To quote: If you’re frustrated about something, raise it, talk about the impact, and discuss what could be done differently in the future. Of course, be smart about this: Have this conversation at a time when your boss isn’t swamped or frazzled, and think about your delivery ahead of time, just as you would want her to do if she were raising something sensitive with you. [As for me, I wish we had more of a culture of speaking up on things that aren’t working. I am getting better at it as a go through my career and will at some point collect the strategies that I have learned so for but for what it’s worth, when advanced with care, upward feedback has always been worth it.]

-  Don’t take things personally,  listen to feedback with an open mind, and don’t get defensive.  To quote: For instance: “I see what you’re saying. The way I was looking at it was ___.”  And remember, you’re not in a courtroom and your manager isn’t looking to you to defend yourself. She’s looking for signs that you’re hearing what she’s saying and taking it into account.

-  Don’t forget that your boss is human. To quote: Your boss is human, so there may be times when she is grumpy, frustrated, or stressed out, or when she would appreciate hearing that she handled something well.  [I like the way this covers both sides of the coin.  We expect recognition but I don’t think we give it to our bosses as much as we could.]


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