How To Please Your Boss
If you have a new job, or if you have just got your first management job, getting on and pleasing the person who appointed you and who holds your fate in their hands is important.
This does not mean that you should be false and hang on their every word, buying coffee and tip-toeing around them, agreeing with everything that say and do. BUT you must make sure that you achieve the objectives that you have been set.
This is especially important if you have been promoted over your peers and are now managing those who were once your equals.
The skills and attributes that you needed for the successful application and recruitment phase are now totally irrelevant: what is now needed is some appropriate and carefully considered management skills.
Your focus should rightly shift upwards and away from where previously you held your focus. It is important to keep the Boss in your sights but the trick is to do this in a proportionate and reasoned manner. This is also coupled with the approach of your staff who will be watching you and analysing the way you go about your business, your moods, the way in which you make decisions and what your priorities are. Whatever you do, never ignore the people you manage for attention given to the Boss because you need these people more than you know!
So, what is to be done?
- Put real effort into demonstrating your vision, supporting and leading teamwork, and recognising those who make significant contributions. A good approach here is to make sure that you listen twice as much as you speak so that your staff feel comfortable that you are receptive to what they are saying.
- Be humble: admit that you have a lot to learn and never shy away from that. A little humility goes a long way in both earning trust and gaining respect.
- Be realistic on your progress: do not expect immense and very impressive results from the start. The Boss will not expect this and we all have a learning/development curve to pass through in any job, regardless of how long we have been in post.
- The success of your team is your success: this is true of all workplaces and it is also true of the success of your Boss. Always think of the bigger picture and how results and progress are a shared vision.
- Be clear on how you will be assessed in terms of your performance, and that of your team. What are the rules and measures of success here? Be clear on what failure looks like.
- Make sure that the Induction you receive is as full as possible. Ask lots of questions.
- Work out what the culture is within your group/course/department. What are the unwritten rules/norms/approaches NOT covered at Induction? (This is especially important if you are promoted from within – the culture and norms within which you are now working will not be the ones that you are familiar with!).
- Set out carefully and methodically what your own personal development plan will be (recognising that this will be a combination of what the new job role is demanding, your own personal and developmental goals and the perceptions of the Boss!).
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