Merge's Blog

Build a better working relationship with your manager by putting yourself in his shoes

Last year I did a series of three posts on the blog about specific actions you could take to build a stronger working relationship with your manager.  A recent conversation with two staff members at a client organization brought this topic to the top of my mind again, so I thought it was time to add three more to the list.

Put yourself in your manager’s shoes

Build a better relationship with your manager

Today’s tip – when dealing with a particular issue, put yourself in your boss’s shoes.  See things from his perspective.  What is his concern or challenge with the proposed course of action?  What alternatives or solutions can you offer that will mitigate the negative impact?  Anticipate the questions that your manager might ask and make sure you have thoughtful answers that demonstrate that your objectives mirror his.  Do this often enough and you’ll be perceived as a reliable go-to person on the team.

Your relationship with your manager will improve if you understand his pressures

In much the same way, when your supervisor or manager does or says something that you think doesn’t make any sense, put yourself in her shoes.  Is she trying to address other concerns, some of which you may not be aware of?  Is it possible that there are circumstances that, unknown to you, may be the cause behind her actions?  Or is it possible that she is simply responding to pressures from her boss, or elsewhere in the organization?  When you are sympathetic to other demands that she might be facing, you build immense goodwill and ultimately a stronger working relationship with your manager.

Later this week and next, I’ll have two more ideas on improving your relationship with your boss to offer, but in the meantime, what are your tips?  What are some specific actions that you have taken to build a more solid rapport with your immediate manager?  Please share.

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