Why this is important - when it comes to work, the relationship you have w/your boss is the biggest contributing factor to your happiness and success.
The "Golden Rule" game plan - treat you boss the way you would want your employees treating you. Why? It's the most effective way to build your relationship.
FAQ - "I'm a lot different than my boss. Won't they have different needs?"
Answer - No. Your styles may be different, but you want the same from your team.
STEP 1 - Understand how your emotional brain can influence your relationship with boss.
Emotional brain inputs - can cause you to misunderstand and over react to your boss.
Emotional brain beliefs - sees the boss in black & white/all-or-nothing terms. Examples -
- "My boss is good/bad"
- "I like/dislike my boss"
- "I trust/don't trust my boss"
- "My boss is/isn't an idiot"
Emotional brain expectations - very opinionated and prone to "should/ought/must" thinking trap. Examples -
- "They should be available"
- "...ought to be interested in what I say"
- "...must give me quick answers"
Emotional brain habits - paranoia causes us to make the story up (mind reading or fortune telling) or seek input from others.
- Mind reading - ex. "She thinks this is my fault"
- Fortune telling - ex. "I'm not getting the promotion"
- Commiserate (rumors/gossip) - ex. "Have you notice he's been very moody?"
Emotional brain contingencies - hunkers down preparing for worse case scenarios.
- Wait & see (disengage)
- Assume/prepare for worse
STEP 2 - identify more productive thoughts and behaviors
Rational brain inputs
Beliefs - your manager is going to have their style, and that style may not be to your liking. Productive beliefs include -
- "They deserve the benefit of the doubt"
- "I need to accept/adapt to them"
- "I should NEVER surprise them"
- "I can’t read their mind"
Expectations - don't lower expectations, make them realistic and understandable. Ex. They're going to be distracted (realistic) - because you're 1 of 10 employees (understandable).
- Distracted - because you're 1 of 10
- Reverse course - because their boss does
- Indecision - because they're authority is limited
- Meetings will cancel - because they don’t own their calendar
Habits (best practices) - shift your perspective - what would you value in employees?
- Embrace their communication style (medium, timing, language)
- Embrace their decision making style (autocratic, analytical, democratic)
- Self-assess - how does your boss perceive you?
- Be open - demonstrate your flexibility
- Be concise - say more with less
- Be empathetic - acknowledge how they feel
- Be solution oriented - come with ideas
- Show initiative - don’t wait
- Adjust to their schedule - be available when they’re available
- Listen - focus on what they mean, not just what they say
- Be positive - bosses avoid negative employees
- Express gratitude - everyone needs to be appreciated
- If they anger you, then take a step back and cool off
- If they’re indecisive, then focus on consequence of inaction
- If you don’t get feedback, then ask them leading questions
- If you don’t know where you stand, then ask