Want your boss to have your back? Here are some tips to make it happen.
People advise you to “get on the boss’s good side,” and while this is not a bad idea, it’s also smart to think of ways to get your boss on your side.
A boss who’s on your side includes you in important meetings, is more likely to think of you when plum assignments or promotions come along, grants you more freedom (doesn’t micromanage), and seeks your input and opinions. All this can make life at work infinitely more pleasant, as well as enhance your career prospects.
Don’t worry. We’re not suggesting you engage in any nefarious mind control. Just consider that your behavior and actions can play a powerful role in winning over your boss, and then behave and act in ways that do so.
Chances are, you instinctively know what to do. But here are three examples:
Know your boss’s priorities. You don’t necessarily have to make these your personal priorities, but do have your boss’s back when it comes to what’s important to him or her. After all, if you support your boss, your boss is more likely to want to support you. So when and where you can, strive to forward your boss’s agenda and goals.
Look for common ground. Perhaps it shouldn’t be, but likability is a huge factor in career success. So remember: People like people who are a little like them. You don’t have to become a clone of your boss. That would be creepy. But surely you share some likes and dislikes, points of view, interests and even passions. These are the tools that will help you build strong ties with your boss.
Be a rock of integrity. Bosses treasure a person whom they can count on to show up on time, provide honest feedback when asked, meet deadlines (or even beat them!), honor commitments, step up to responsibilities, work hard even when not under supervision, and say nothing about the boss that they wouldn’t say to his or her face. Do all this and you will be a rare asset indeed. Do all this while cutting costs and there is no telling where it will take you.
Have you noticed? The same behaviors that result in getting your boss on your side also benefit your boss and your company’s bottom line. It’s a win-win.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.