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A woman wearing glasses and holding a pen talks to her bosses.

How to Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss

For National Boss’s Day on October 16, let’s give our bosses the gift of a better relationship. The quality of our relationships in the workplace makes all the difference between wanting to experience the day or wanting to avoid it.

Here are some simple ways to improve your communication with your boss that will infuse your relationship with good energy instead of the common resentment or passive-aggressive energy. Get excited because your own personal growth and development will shift your career, your success, and overall productivity of your company.

The Work Struggle is Real

Getting along with your boss can be as challenging as a marriage it’s an important step in career growth, learning how to improve your relationship with them can rewarding professionally and personally. 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.

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 lives. 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.

4 Reasons to Repair Professional Relationships

You may currently have a relationship with your boss that feels like sour milk, but you have the power to try to turn that around. People often leave their job because of their boss and unfortunately, find a similar situation in their next position if they don’t attempt to take responsibility for their own behavior.

There are many reasons to make a diligent and conscious effort to improve your relationship with your boss but in case you just can’t think of one, here are some that will make this a no-brainer for you.

1. Improve Your Health

Positive employee-employer relationships will improve your health. Having healthy relationships allows the immune system to function better and lowers the risk of developing long-term diseases that can be stress-induced.

2. Lower Your Stress Levels

Positive work relationships help lower stress, improve mental health and keep the nervous system balanced. Stress in the workplace can wreak havoc on our personal lives outside of work. Anything that lowers stress should be given the green light in our book.

3. Increase Your Productivity & Creativity

You will find trust and creativity soar when you put your ego aside and actually care about someone besides yourself at work. Creativity requires openness, respect, and relaxation which can come from the way you treat and communicate with your boss.

4. Open New Opportunities

Better relationships mean more opportunities, higher productivity, and a chance to learn new skills. If you want to open doors in your career, start looking at your own reactions, word choice, and attitude.

Now you know the benefits, how do you get there?

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Your Boss

We have established that building and maintaining a healthy relationship with your boss will improve the energy in your office, your well-being, your success, and your overall enjoyment of your day-to-day life. Now let’s take a look at actions you can take to build real relationships without agendas. Remember, this is a crucial step in your development and in your happiness.

1. Set Your Intention to Be Kind & Considerate

If we aren’t consciously working to improve our work relationships, we may be perceived as being driven by greed. We all know someone who is only looking to get a raise, do less work, and take credit for other work, the last thing we want to be is that.

Those more primal instincts can be over-ridden by practicing setting an intention that is positive and good for both you and your boss. Your intention and actions should be a beacon of realistic positivity you can put into your work and meetings. Maybe set an intention and acting to make sure everyone feels valued - especially, in this instance, your boss. You can also fall into your boss’s good graces by having that same intention with your colleagues; positivity spreads and ultimately makes their job much easier.

2. Get to Know Your Boss

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 really genuinely listen to make them feel heard. You never know how much your comradery may mean to them. 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 judgment.

Related Article: How to Create Balance in Your Relationships

3. Find Positive Things to Say

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.

Complimenting your boss in a genuine way in a meeting or simply saying something nice can help build a positive rapport. If you are someone who doesn’t play into the negativity that can zap the energy in the office, you will be someone your boss looks to when they need a refreshing perspective. Many people don’t hesitate to throw someone under the bus, but if you guard your words and speak respectfully of everyone, your boss will respect you more as well.

Always look at the bright side and celebrate the small successes at work to keep the vibes up. Control your reactions by taking a moment to find a positive thing to say. When unplanned things happen, roll with it instead of complaining.

4. Look for Ways to Be Helpful

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. Think about what they may need or want from you before you approach them to show them you value their time and that you’re looking out for them.

If you see that they are stressed about meeting a deadline or juggling too many things, offer to help even if it’s something like running out to grab them a much-needed meal. Your generosity will help lower their stress and will help them feel supported, also this opens the door for reciprocated assistance. Your boss will return the favor when they can.

5. Be Informed & Offer Feedback

The more time you spend staying informed about developments in your field and continuing your education, the more valuable you are to your boss. Keep up to speed on your competitors or best practices and dig for information that your boss would find useful to show that you care about their success and the success of the company.

Doing the bare minimum can keep you in the same position or get you demoted while being educated can help your boss see your potential and they will love to see your drive. Your passion can inspire them to be more positive about work as well. If you see a potential solution or problem, share it with them as long as you have checked to see that it’s a good time to communicate.

6. Keep Communication Open & Candid

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or not sure why you are being treated a certain way, practice bringing things forward in a non-aggressive, open manner. It’s not just about bringing up things you feel negative about either, keeping communication open and honest will keep things from festering and build trust between you and your boss. Instead of small fires turning into bonfires, extinguish them in a mature and neutral way by communicating in a kind and thoughtful manner.

This can develop a relationship where they trust you to keep them informed about important matters and being candid about issues can also reduce their need to feel like they have to check in on your work constantly.

Read this next: How To Deal With Workplace Conflict Confidently

Concluding Thoughts…

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 Be More Assertive At Work

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry

Trusting her intuition has brought Shannon a wealth of gifts and she brings this wisdom to Daily Life … daily! Instead of following the "norms" of career development, Shannon followed her gut. It's led her to some extraordinary places and experiences as a healer, clairvoyant, metaphysical teacher and Kundalini yoga instructor.... Read More

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