People who are at perpetual loggerheads with their bosses and seniors have set up a failing model of progress for themselves. It’s like having the Ferrari as your dream car while expressing your dislike for its functions on a daily basis. How can you aspire for a position you detest or have no admiration for, or have no acceptance for? It’s a failing model, for one, you will never arrive there, and even if you do, you will be subject to the same negativity that you held for it.
A boss-subordinate relationship is not only vital to the progress of the organization but is even more critical to the growth of the individuals involved. By rank the boss is supposed to be a mentor and a more experienced colleague who can push you towards a more flourishing future. The boss does not need to be a terror and certainly not the man you wish was dead.
The problems in the professional relationship arise when the subordinate fails to understand his boss’ position and temperament. It would pay you far beyond your imagination to make an investment in understanding your boss, his working style, his experience, his achievements, his drive and more importantly his vision with you. His chair is your future destination and so you have to keep your eye on that goal, in this case, him. His position is your future promotion and so you have to be a student of his personality, his journey, his responsibilities and his skills. Your boss’ existence is evidence for your future aspirations.
Adapt to your boss’ style of working, it will serve you speed up your progress. “I know my boss is a perfectionist,” says Sandeep who is a banker, “and I know very clearly that I have to make an adjustment in my professional dealing with him. My ex boss was an easygoing guy, and somehow I have carried that expectation into my new bosses attitude.” Adaptability is one of the keys to success, and if you can use that to unlock your equation with your boss, you are on the fast track to success.
Work closely with your boss and demand inputs to improve your performance. If your boss is constantly unhappy with your performance, find out what you are doing wrong or what you are not doing that should be done. When people don’t perform well, they just turn their backs on their boss’s comments and on the ownership of their poor performance. Don’t wait for the boss to criticize or recognize you. On a monthly basis present your performance for his feedback for improvement. And chances are that in doing that, you yourself will become aware of your progress. I would say go a step ahead and demand inputs on improvement. Get ideas on how you could perform better. It’s a profitable perspective when it comes from your boss.
Discuss your career growth with your boss. Express your interest in getting ahead. People on the top welcome company. Chat up with your boss to understand what you would need to do in order to deserve your next promotion. Don’t wait to be promoted, work strategically toward it. Most bosses in organizations are under utilized by their teams—they don’t speak to them, they don’t approach him, they don’t work with him. Pick your bosses brains and help him help you; he after all holds the chair you aspire for.
The major complaint that professionals confess to is that they are starved for recognition. “I don’t mind the hard work and the erratic working hours, but not being appreciated is something that steals my motivation to continue giving more.” Is a common complaint in the corporate circuit. It’s nice to let your boss be aware of your motivation buttons. “I work better when I know I am adding value and I am appreciated,” my employee once told me, and I have made it a point to use recognition as her carrot to keep her motivated when she is slow. And moreover recognition is a two-way traffic, your word of appreciation works wonders on your boss just like his word works on you. I have almost never seen people publicly appreciate their bosses or give them credit in their success. Appreciate and give credit to your seniors where due to guarantee your deserving share.
A boss-subordinate relationship is like an arranged marriage. You don’t even get to see your boss until you are hired. To nurture that relationship, to establish the affinity and a healthy communication, to adjust, accept and accommodate becomes your responsibility because your future in the company depends on it.
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