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

A few years ago 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.  Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s a perennial subject that comes up repeatedly in my leadership development practice.  So here is one more idea you can add to the list of things you can do to improve your relationship with your manager.

Put yourself in your manager’s shoes

Build a better relationship with your manager

When dealing with a particular issue, put yourself in your boss’s shoes.  See things from his perspective.  Ask yourself what is her 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 he 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 he is simply responding to pressures from his boss, or elsewhere in the organization?  When you are sympathetic to other demands that your boss might be facing, you build immense goodwill and ultimately a stronger working relationship with your manager.

What are some of the specific things you have said or done to build a more solid rapport with your immediate manager?  Please share by adding your comments below.

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