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How to build a strong relationship with your boss

By Yvette McKenzie | 25 September 2017

Let’s be honest – staying in the manager's good books at work is important not only to keep your job, but for your long term growth. It is highly unlikely that your boss will push to promote you or give you a pay increase if he or she doesn't get on with you. It does not seem fair, but this is just the way it is. Do you see yourself as a potential leader? Consider studying leadership and management online to hone your skills and check out the ideas below.

male team leader giving man employee handshake

Learn from your boss:

Generally speaking, your boss is probably more experienced than you, which is why they're in a position of management. Take time to learn from your boss by asking questions. Don’t be afraid to approach them. In most situations, he or she will be happy that you are seeking them out for advice, and in return will be more willing to take the time to help you out. "The best bosses understand that part of their job is to take the heat when things go wrong," says Job Hero. "They act as a shield around their staff, assigning punishment and giving hard talks themselves."

Be honest with your boss:

If you make a mistake with your work or you've done something wrong, don't try to lie or cover it up. In the long term this can only come back to hurt you. Approach your boss and be honest. Explain the mistake you've made and let them know how you're going to fix it. Nobody is perfect and no one expects you to be perfect. Honesty is the best policy. Your boss will also respect you more for being honest from the beginning rather than trying to hide your mistakes.

Don’t have an ego:

Nobody likes an egomaniac. Lead by example through your actions rather than your words. No matter what job you do or what industry you're in, the best workers always lead by example. "Sometimes high-pressure work situations inflate our egos. We get frustrated," says Fast Company. "This tends to happen when we’re presenting our work and emotions run high. You get defensive. You start feeling indignant. These are normal responses, but you need to pay attention to them."

Don’t take credit for other people’s work:

Taking credit for other peoples' work is a big no no. Not only is it dishonest, but sooner than later your boss will find out. In the meantime, your co-workers will begin to lose respect for you, which can severely hamper your chances of one day being in a situation where you become their boss. Being a good team player means acknowledging co-workers when they do good work and encouraging everyone to put their best foot forward. "Being a valuable team member can open new career opportunities, because leaders may see firsthand what a great job you're doing," points out Mind Tools.

taking credit for work concept

Build a positive relationship with your boss not a false relationship:

Just like you, your boss is only human. Yes they may have more responsibilities, but they still experience and share all the same human feelings as you will feel on a day to day basis. You do not have to be best friends with your boss, but you need to respect them and value their time. Do not try to constantly flatter them. Your boss is no fool and will quickly realise what you are doing. This can severely hurt your relationship as you will lose credibility, and in certain circumstances this can lead to them either disliking you or not taking you seriously.

CEO giving handshake to employee

A strong relationship with your boss can help your career

So, a positive relationship with your boss and co-workers will make for a happy and healthy career. We spend so much of our lives at work that it is important not just to stay on our managers good side for promotion reasons, but also to ensure that we achieve maximum satisfaction from our jobs. Consider a course in Leadership and Management if you'd like to learn more. 

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