How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss
Getting along with your boss can be as challenging as a marriage but consequently, learning how to improve your relationship with them can be just as rewarding. Since we often spend more of our waking hours with our boss than our spouse, it’s important that we actively work to improve this relationship and understand how essential our role is in keeping that bond healthy.
Building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your boss improves the energy in your office, your wellbeing, your success, and your overall enjoyment of your day-to-day life. When you work to develop positive emotional bonds with your coworkers and your boss, both productivity and creativity increase exponentially. Building real relationships without agendas is a crucial step in your development and in your happiness.
When you realize how much time you spend at work, it becomes apparent that the relationship you have with your boss is truly vital to both your life and your boss’ life. Your boss has a direct influence on your mood, so you should really learn to take responsibility for your part of the relationship and empower yourself to make it as enjoyable as possible.
Actually Care About Your Boss (Yes, You Can)
Get to know your boss by asking about their life and what led them to this job. Ask them what their own aspirations are in life and deepen the understanding you have of them to become more than someone that assigns you tasks. Ask them how they are doing and look for ways to help make things easier for them, whether it’s something small like picking up a second coffee from the Starbucks on your way to work or taking on more responsibilities that would cut some of their workload down (plus, you get an opportunity to demonstrate your skills). Doing this is to “care personally,” described in Radical Candor by Kim Scott, which is essential to your happiness and performance at work.
If you stop thinking about what you can get from your boss and start thinking about your boss as a person by caring about them, your relationship can begin to blossom. Instigating an emotional bond makes it easier to see your boss as a complex human - not just the person that signs your paycheck. This develops compassion, something your boss will be able to feel from you. This, in turn, helps lower tension, competitiveness, and judgement.
This may seem like an obvious thing, but it’s easier said than done. We are highly susceptible to gossiping and complaining if we aren’t diligently directing our words and thoughts. Most people are whiners, that’s the plain and simple truth. Most people do not realize they can actually control the sounds they make when they move their lips. Unconscious word vomit is a virus that will infect anyone who isn’t on guard with positive armour.
When someone asks how you’re doing, how your weekend was, how your tasks are coming, use words of gratitude, inspiration and enthusiasm, instead of words with a negative slant. Even if people don’t often remember what you’ve said, they will always remember how you made them feel. If you respond “how’s your day?” with a smile and say, “best day ever!” you’re actually giving them energy. If you say, “it’s great to see you!” you’re building an emotional bond with your words. Some call that magic. Of course, it must be genuine, and if you really can’t find any way to be friendly with your boss, maybe you’re at the wrong company.
Set A Selfless Intention
One of my secret tools that took me from having tension with one of my bosses to having a friendship was to set an intention before going into work. Your intention should be a beacon of positivity you can return to during work. Maybe set an intention to make sure everyone feels valued - especially, in this instance, your boss. You can also fall into your boss’ good graces by having that same intention with your colleagues; positivity spreads and ultimately makes their job much easier.
Find little ways to remind yourself of your intention throughout the day. Every morning, on a post-it note or on a fresh page in your notebook, take pen to paper and write an affirmation such as, “I am here to provide humble, loving service,” or “today is the best day of my life.” When you build positive momentum like this, your boss will enjoy having conversations with you and probably will be inspired to make your life easier, not harder. When we respect others and value them, it’s more common for them to do the same.
Holding up your end of the relationship you have with your boss with genuine, caring intentions, can have an immediate effect on your health, your relationships outside of work, and even the way you view and treat yourself. We feel good about ourselves when we are kind to others, and when we have healthy confidence, we are more inclined to speak our ideas, ask for raises, and even create new positions for ourselves based on our ability to inspire positive relationships at work.
When you realize how much of your experience at work is in your hands, it puts you back in control of enjoying your life. When you genuinely want everyone to have an incredible day at work and you stay focused on fostering a relationship with your boss based on respect, consideration, and support, you can build a trust where you will feel like you’re working with a friend instead of for a superior. Know that you can, and should, change jobs if you’re not being treated with respect. But before you do, know that if you haven’t applied these techniques, you may be missing out on a lot of great experiences that will shift your work life from meh to magnificent.
Related Article: How to Manifest Positivity in Tough Times