Over the past twenty plus years I've coached executives and managers and have presented seminars to them on leadership and performance improvement. I've learned a lot from them and want to share a few secrets with you.
Here are three things you need to know about your boss that will strengthen your relationship and help you go further in your career.
Your Boss Wants You To Succeed
At the very least, you boss wants you to succeed because their success depends on your success. On the other hand, your failure is their failure and most of them take it personally. If you don't think your boss cares about your career satisfaction and success, you're almost certainly mistaken. Know your boss cares and is invested in you and your progress.
Your Boss Needs Your Help To Help You
Make sure your boss knows what you want and need to do a great job; don't assume they just know. Unless your boss is psychic, speak up and make sure you are heard. Tell them what your goals are (even if they don't ask) and meet with them at least twice a year to review your goals and progress. Make sure your boss has a written copy of your goals. I bet yours doesn't!
Do you want more responsibility? Don't just tell them that; be specific. (What new project do you want to take on and when do you want to start?) Give your boss a written plan of what training or coaching you would like for the next 6-12 months. You do have a plan, don't you?
Your Boss is Overworked And Overwhelmed Too!
Almost every manager I've talked to is in the same boat you are in: too much to do in too little time. And guess what, if you feel you're not getting enough attention or support, it's a safe bet your boss isn't either! Yes, things need to change in your workplace and you want more than you're getting. The best way to get more from your boss is to be solution oriented in your requests; the worst way is to complain.
Be persistent if you have to, but be positive and gracious in your communication. Your boss is being pulled in two different directions; from above and below. Imagine what that feels like. Make it easy on your boss to support you and grant your requests and they will be more likely to step off their management treadmill and help you.
Bottom line? Step into your boss's shoes. You'll discover their job is more difficult than you thought. And hopefully you'll see your job is to make their job easier so they will see you as an asset and someone to recognize, promote and reward.