Most people have the concepts of impressing your boss and kissing up to your boss confused. No one likes a yes man and that includes management. Impressing your boss is not like that at all; in fact, it could be what lands you that promotion and what separates you from the others in your workplace.
First off, remember that a supervisor, managers, CEO or management teams are human beings. This may be contrary to wide spread gossip about them being hell spawns or half-draconic but it is indeed true. Each has quirks, mood swings, trouble at home, occasionally a bad commute – just like you do. They all have varied leadership styles.
Second, boss is a role player. They are playing the role of a leader, and you are playing the role of someone that is on their team. This means that you are to follow their rules and guidance unless it will land you in a courtroom or go against your moral code.
Now that we have covered the two main principles, we can move on to the tips on impressing your boss.
1) On your first day on the job ask these two questions. “What is it that you expect of me?” and “What is it that I can do to impress you?” This may seem too simple but you may be surprised by the responses. These questions show initiative and good communication skills as well as your dedication to their leadership.
2) Let your boss do their job. It is acceptable if you and your boss develop a friendly relationship but allow them to play their leadership role. Therefore, if you are discussing the happenings of last nights TV show it is ok to state your opinion on the same level as them. However, when the discussion returns to work, make sure your tone and words reflect your respect for their role.
3) If you made a mistake own up to it. No one likes someone who shifts the blame or makes up excuses for why something happened. They will respect you more if you can admit a mistake. It shows them how you will handle future challenges. This displays your character strength and desire to see the project succeed.
4) Don’t be melodramatic over an issue. There are no awards for your performance when apologizing. Just admit a mistake, resolve it, offer a solution and move on. If you turn melodramatic, all you are doing is prolonging the awkward situation.
5) Have good work habits. If your boss is successful and you want to follow his career path then make a leadership assessment and follow it. For example if he is able to meet deadlines then watch how he organizes and sets timetables. If you are not able to observe how he is it, ask. Nothing is more gratifying then being asked how you do something so well.
6) Consider outside help. Find an executive coach, business coach, corporate coach or a personal coach depending on what you are working towards. Coaching will help you with your personal growth and help you build your career with skills that will truly impress management. Do not be hesitant to ask your boss if the company will support your efforts financially. Many corporations have come to see this type of request as an indication that the team member is serious about improving – and such support is one of the highest return investments that a company can make.
By following these tips, you will be on your way to having a lengthy career and a very appreciative boss. Good luck to you and remember: Clear communication, dedication to tasks and play your role.
© Dr. Earl R. Smith II