In some cases it’s impossible, but it’s worth considering how to get along with your boss… even if it’s just a little bit. In the end, it’s all about figuring out the best way to approach the relationship with our direct superior. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to give you some key tips to get along with your boss in a way that is realistic and appropriate to your respective roles.
We often talk about how to unite teams, building relationships of trust and cooperation with our co-workers. We also talk a lot about what are the main leadership skills that managers should possess.
However, we rarely discuss the question: how to get along with your boss? It’s not that your relationship has to be idyllic or that have to be best friends, but we do need to think about how the relationship between a manager and the members of the team they manage should be healthy for both parties.
We have outlined 10 tips on how to build a healthy relationship with your boss, one of the most powerful tools to improve the work environment and the performance of any employee.
How to get along with your boss?
1. Don’t expect the impossible
Sometimes the best way to take care of relationships is to take them as they are and keep them where they are so they don’t get worse.
This is what happens when we are not lucky enough to have a pleasant, reliable, open, and approachable boss. Sometimes we have to report to someone with whom we don’t see eye to eye and with whom we always have to work hard to keep communication flowing.
If you want to learn how to get along with your boss in these cases you should look at what the relationship is and not what it should be, assuming that where there is none, there is none to be gained.
2. Don’t try to change people
Relationships change us, but only if we are open and willing to be influenced by each other on an individual level. Your boss also has weaknesses (or characteristics that you do not like) and some of them are not going to turn into virtues just because you insist on it.
Of course, if you are thinking about how to get along with your boss, don’t try to replace them, acting as your boss’s boss, directing their activities, or indirectly suggesting how they should do their job.
3. Don’t look for friends or parents in your bosses
Sometimes, depending on our relational needs, we unconsciously seek to establish a relationship with our boss that brings us fun, reciprocity, protection, guidance…
A boss can bring us all these things, of course, but they must always do so from their role, not blurring affection and behaving too casually or overprotectively. In the same way, we should not be too “nice” or childish.
4. Learn how to manage asymmetries in the relationship
No matter how much trust you have, this person is your superior and you have to keep a certain distance if you want to know how to get along with your boss. Just because you get along doesn’t necessarily mean you are friends, and just because you appreciate your boss doesn’t mean they appreciate you in the same way.
You each have different responsibilities within the relationship, you are not two equals working together. At some point things may go wrong, they may have to get serious with you or you may have to face the solution of a serious problem that involves both of you. It will be easier to fluctuate between a serious and a more relaxed register if your roles are well-differentiated and you do not overcome certain barriers.
5. Give them security
You don’t have to be aggressive or forceful to give your boss an image of confidence; you just need to convey self-confidence and understanding of the instructions you are given. Of course, you must also communicate and make them see that the job is well done. Bosses ultimately value results more than words.
6. Don’t be intimidated
Some bosses can be harsh, inaccessible, or imposing because of their level of authority and knowledge. Whatever the case, they are also people: they make mistakes, they get sick, they get overwhelmed, they doubt… Respecting your boss does not mean living in fear, but knowing how to observe them with their qualities and flaws so that you can communicate in a fluid way.
7. Don’t wear yourself out trying to impress them
It is true that, especially when we have just arrived at a company, or when we feel that for some reason our performance is in question, we accelerate and want to intensely demonstrate our capabilities.
However, this can often lead us to overreact or become tiresome: it is not the best method when what is at stake is how to get along with your boss.
Although we must know how to sell well what we do, our abilities are often demonstrated by the results we produce, and there is no need to be constantly claiming for ourselves or trying to generate an intense impression on our superiors, as this is not always good for the relationship with them.
8. Show them that you listen to them and that you understand them
Want to know how to get along with your boss? Pay attention. Bosses are looking for autonomous employees, but they get very nervous when they get the feeling that their subordinates do as they please, regardless of the instructions they have been given.
Make your boss feel that you take your messages to heart, communicate them, and put them into practice. It’s just what they need to feel confident about you.
9. Inform them of what works for you
Tell your boss what you need to feel good or, at the very least, let them know what things are making you feel uneasy. This is not always possible, because it requires a high level of trust between the two of you.
However, whenever you can, let your boss know directly or indirectly which attitudes work best for you and which ones make you more nervous and perform worse.
Sometimes the problem of knowing how to get along with your boss is as simple to solve as suggesting when it’s best for you to have weekly meetings or exactly how much time you need to accomplish a particular task.
10. Communicate sincerely
Of course, we all want to handle information with skill and discretion so that it does not affect us and so we do not bother our boss with issues that are none of their business, that they can’t solve, or that we are better off solving on our own.
However, the ideal attitude for the relationship to work and for there to be trust is sincerity. Admit your mistakes, ask for help before difficulties become crises and give opinions when asked for in an honest and non-hurtful way. Therein lies one of the secrets to getting along with your boss.
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At a second level, they can receive emotional support through a chat with one of the licensed psychologists on our platform. If continuous help is needed over time, they can access the third level of the program: online psychological therapy with a psychologist specialized in cases like theirs.
We hope you found this post on how to get along with your boss interesting. If you would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, all you have to do is request it and we will contact your team as soon as possible.