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You spend a lot of time at work – and so does your boss. By developing the best possible relationship, all those hours you spend at the office will be a lot better for both of you. But as an employee, what steps can you take to make this happen?

Start with the obvious: be a great employee.

Even if you’re the friendliest, most outgoing person in the office, if your work isn’t up to par, it’s going to be tough to maintain a good relationship with anyone, especially your manager.

  • Make sure that whatever you do during the course of your workday adds value to your organization. This includes being a consummate professional. Chime in with constructive ideas, avoid office gossip, and maintain a positive attitude and high quality of work.
  • Offer to help. If your boss seems stressed or overwhelmed, step up to the plate and see if you can assist. Even if they turn you down, the fact that you’ve reached out carries a lot of weight.

Foster open communication.

Feeling comfortable enough to have open, honest communication with your boss will strengthen your relationship – even if you don’t agree with them 100 percent of the time.

  • Find out exactly how your manager prefers to communicate. Do they like to have weekly or monthly meetings? Do they rely heavily on email because they’re frequently on the road? It’s human nature to communicate with others in the way one would prefer to be communicated with.
  • Ask for feedback. This shows your initiative and commitment to continuous performance improvement. Just don’t take this concept to the extreme. Demonstrate that you’re interested in growing and evolving as needed, without being a pest.
  • If you do have a differing opinion or idea, be ready to present an alternative solution. And, be polite, tactful and respectful when you have this conversation. Or, maybe you can simply adapt their idea to make it work better.

Be empathetic.

Your boss is human too. And being responsible for not only your own work but also that of others can be a tough job. By simply understanding this and being empathetic toward your boss’s feelings is enough to shift perspective and significantly improve your relationship.

  • Be yourself around your boss. There’s no official handbook that defines exactly what that relationship should look like. But you should both feel comfortable, whether the two of you are quite close and casual – maybe you’re social media friends and hang out together at Happy Hour – or not. Regardless, there’s never harm in making small talk, keeping things a little friendlier and less rigid.

Your boss plays a leading role in your career advancement. The better they know you and your work, the more likely you are to be rewarded. And they need you, too, because they don’t work alone. They’re only as good as their team. Keep this in mind as you constantly work on that relationship, just as you would with key personal relationships in your life.

For additional tips on this and related career issues – or to find the job opportunity that’s just right for you – contact the PrideStaff Modesto team today.

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