10 Ways to Repair, Restore & Redirect Your Relationship with Your Boss

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Lea McLeod, a Portland-based “Job Therapist,” was the speaker at our April Brown Bag Lunch & Learn at the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce. Lea’s topic was Bossonomics and she gave us 10 ways to improve office productivity and relationships between managers and employees. These tips are also very useful for small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs working with clients.

1. Build a good relationship from the start. When you begin to work with someone new, find out how they like to communicate, what they expect for keeping in touch, etc. Don’t make assumptions!

2. Have a regular conversation. This is so important. Don’t think that emails or texts can take the place of a good, regular conversation with your boss.

3. Clarify goals. What’s most important to work on? What’s the focus–for the year, for the week, etc.? How are you going to quantify it? It’s amazing how many people work without having clear goals to aim for.

4. Know your manager’s goals. Chances are, your manager has different goals than you do. And you only do better if you help them reach their goals–in addition to focusing on your own.

5. Hold up your end of the bargain. One of the things that Lea highlighted was the rule of “no surprises.” Don’t ever let your boss get blindsided by something you knew was coming. Own your mistakes, take responsibility, offer solutions instead of just complaining about problems.

6. Assume good intentions. People do say things like, “My manager is trying to make my life miserable.” But chances are, that’s not true. Your manager probably doesn’t get up in the morning thinking of ways to screw up your day. Most people are just trying to get through the week, have a good life, take care of their family, etc.

7. Assume imperfection. We’re all human. Go easy on your manager. If they do something you really don’t like or that interferes with your ability to get your job done, point it out. No one has classes in how to be a manager, so give them some help in learning how to do their job better.

8. Give feedback. It’s ok to tell your manager how they’re doing. It’s great to let them know when something they did really worked or didn’t work. Learn to ask great questions and not make assumptions for how you’re supposed to do your work. If there’s something you need, tell them.

9. Give recognition. The most successful people celebrate the successes of others. They don’t throw their manager (or the employees) under the bus. Managers are very often unsung heroes, so doing a little shout-out at a meeting or on your Facebook page–or letting their boss know something positive is a great practice.

10. Be kind. Again. We’re all human. Life isn’t easy. We’re all trying our best so no matter which of the above you’re tackling, talk to your manager in the way you’d like someone to talk to you. Be kind.

And the one thing you can say that will instantly change the course of any “Bad Manager” day?

How can I help you?

Find out more about Lea’s work at www.leamcleod.com.

And be sure to sign up for our May Brown Bag Lunch and Learn on May 23rd.
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