Merge's Blog

Want a stronger relationship with your boss? Consistency builds trust

Business people talking togetherLast week I started a short series on definitive actions you can take to improve your working relationship with your boss with a post about tailoring your presentations.  Today I want to continue on that subject by highlighting the importance of consistency, both in the quality of the work you do for him or her, as well as in your behaviour.

Your ultimate goal in your working relationship with your boss should be to get to a point where s/he trusts you; trusts you to step in, take charge, act appropriately, get things done, and to bring issues and problems to a successful conclusion.  And trust comes from consistency.  Establish a consistent track record of professional behaviour, level-headed responses, sound decision-making, and quality work.  If your boss knows that she can count on you to deliver outcomes similar to what she might have done herself, then she is more likely to trust you to act on her behalf.  If he can be confident that you will act in manner that will not come back to haunt him later, then you are well on your way to becoming a reliable right-hand.

However, don’t fall into the trap that I have observed in many a workplace – the “slacking off” mistake.  What often happens is that as we develop stronger relationships with those we work with, we sometime let things slide.  Perhaps we’re not as careful in checking the details in a briefing document, or in jest, we make a flippant comment to another manager that gets misconstrued.  Or we get short-tempered with clients and co-workers, or we overstep an indistinct boundary.  Don’t.  Remember, trust is built out of consistency, so when you start letting things slide, you’ll chip away at the trust you’ve already created.  Do it long enough, and your relationship with your boss will begin to suffer the consequences.

So what do you think?  I’ve got one more idea to share with you later this week, but I’d like to know what else you have to add to the list.  How are you building a stronger bond with your manager or supervisor?  Let’s discuss.

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