Why Managing Your Boss May Be Your Best Decision Yet

October 3, 2017


Bosses want to be managed. Don't believe me? Ask your boss. Here's why. In most cases, there is one of them and a lot more of you. Oh yeah, did I also mention that a lot of bosses are working managers, which means that in addition to managing you, they've got other goals they need to meet.


Here are three ideas you can immediately use to make your boss look good, while making yourself look great.


Keep your boss informed. Bosses hate surprises. How do I know this? Because I was a boss and can tell you that the last thing you want from your people are surprises. I recall early on in my career one of my employees who seemed to be full of surprises. I'd be waiting for her report so that I could roll it up into the briefing my boss expected and without exception, she'd fail to get it to me on time. Needless to say, she made life difficult for both of us. Eventually, I let her go.


Our story didn't have to end that way. I had some flexibility with deadlines and could have readjusted my commitment to our boss, had she told me there would be a delay. Yes, managing your boss can be that simple.


Communicate with your boss in a way that works for her. I get it. texting is all the rage these day, but that doesn't mean your boss wants you to communicate that way with him. I also get that you may be new to the workplace and that you're unsure as to how you might go about finding out his preferred communication style. All you have to do is ask. Here's an example of what I mean by this.


"Would you like me to debrief you in person or by email?" No doubt your boss will tell you exactly what works best for him and you'll then be in the know. It's important to understand that bosses rarely adapt their communication style to the people they are managing. This means you'll need to be adjust your style to his, that is if you want things to go smoothly.


Manage your own performance. Do you remember the details of a project you worked on six months ago? Most likely not and I can assure you that your boss doesn't recall this as well. All she knows is that the project is complete. That's where you come in.


Let's suppose it's time for your performance review. Your boss really wants to fairly assess your performance. However, he doesn't have time to go back and reconstruct who did what in his department. Unless you tell him differently, he's going to simply rely on his memory.


I'm a huge advocate of self-evaluations. This is where you write your own review and remind your boss of all the great things you've done over the past year. Present it to him several weeks prior to your review date, and don't be surprised if your performance review looks very similar to the document you just gave him.


Roberta Matuson, The Talent Maximizer® and President of Matuson Consulting, helps world-class organizations like General Motors, New Balance and Microsoft achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.


She’s the author of four books, including her most recent, Suddenly in Charge and The Magnetic Leader: How Irresistible Leaders Attract Employees, Customers and Profits. Sign up to receive her free newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®. Follow her on Twitter.


Reach her at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com.


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