The first thing you must do to properly manage your boss is to be the best employee you can be.
- Do quality work
- Embrace company values
- Meet your deadlines
- Play well in the company sandbox
- . . . and generally be a true asset to your department
With these things now in place you have the opportunity to manage your boss. That said, when reading the following potential ways to manage your boss, note that you should choose your tactics wisely based on your relationship with him/her, your role within your department, and the culture of your organization.
1. When you bring issues to your manager, also provide potential solutions and your suggested recommendation. With a well thought out recommendation in hand, you will very likely be able to correct the issue in the manner you wish. 2. Try to view the world from your manager’s perspective. This will not only help you better understand your manager’s needs and wants, it will also help your professional growth should you hope, in time, to attain your manager’s position. 3. Be transparent with your manager. That is to say, be equally willing to tell him/her about the good news as well as the bad news. This approach of sharing both good and bad news has many advantages including the following:
a. It develops trust from your manager toward you. b. When you give your boss good news he/she will believe you because he/she knows that you are also willing to admit bad news. c. It allows you to get advice from your boss on issues requiring action. This advice will not only help you correct your problem, but it will also help you grow professionally by allowing you to gain knowledge as to how your boss would handle the issue d. It allows you to take credit for correcting a difficult problem because you are willing to tell your boss, in the first place, that a problem was in need of attention. In essence, you can’t get credit for correcting a problem if your boss never knew that the problem existed.
4. Be a department thought leader regarding department processes and technologies. This will help make you more valuable to your department and in turn to your manager. This added value will (or should) cause your manager to take your opinions and recommendations seriously, thus making your suggestions more likely to be accepted. 5. Begin to think both tactically and strategically. This combination of a short term and long term perspective will help you create and present better ideas and suggestions to your manager, thus making the implementation of your solutions more likely. 6. Consider issues from both a technical and non-technical perspective. Like thinking tactically and strategically, this dual perspective will help you define and present better potential solutions and recommendations.
In closing, the way to best manage your boss begins with being the best employee you can be, grows by gaining your manager’s trust, and concludes by creating innovative and well thought out solutions to department problems that you would like to solve based on your recommendations.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.