While you probably want your boss to like you, the office hierarchy isn’t a popularity contest. So if you’re only interested in kissing butt, you’re probably not fully engaged in your job.
“Winning over your boss” isn’t about getting someone to like you or to think you’re cool. (This isn’t high school.)
Instead, satisfaction at work is all about bringing your best, most authentic self to work every day. It’s about working hard toward your company’s goals and in line with your company’s purpose and mission. It’s about showing you care about your company’s success. Achieve this level of engagement and you’re sure to “win over” your boss.
Your boss should have the company’s goals in mind—as should you. Ask yourself: Is my manager someone I respect? That’s more important than anything. (Plus, you need to respect and trust yourself as well.) Take the time to listen and learn about your how your boss is working to further your company. How can you support those goals?
Are you concerned about the success of the company and the people around you—including the success of your boss? It’s that higher purpose that brings you into a relationship with your boss—so use your time well, learn and engage, and push yourself and your team towards the greater good. When you have the best interests of the company and your fellow employees (including your boss) in mind, everyone will appreciate you and your contributions more.
When beginning a new position or role in a company, it’s important to understand just how you fit into your role and into the office hierarchy. Figure out all the details before becoming an employee, supervisor, boss or partner. Ensure your duties and place are made clear.
If traveling to a new town for work, start to line up contacts and network before arriving to hit the ground running and bring your new company business immediately. You’ll leave a lasting impression on your boss as your actions will show commitment and gumption. Remember to align yourself with your boss: winning over your boss is more about trust than anything else.
If your boss doesn’t seem to remember you (or can’t remember your name), work harder and take the time to speak with directly to your boss more often. Work to ensure your boss knows your name and what you’re all about. Affirm your goals within the company and demonstrate how you’re working toward the greater good.
But also be sure you always listen to what your boss has to say. Find out how things are going and what they want you to do differently. Do your best to show your true intentions—you’ll show you’re fully engaged within your job and ready to do whatever it takes to fulfill the company’s purpose and mission.
A career isn’t about sitting at the cool-kids table at lunch or getting your superiors to like you the most. It’s about your actions and what you’re doing to help better both your company and yourself.
People who tend to schmooze may be well-known, but is it for the right reasons? It’s ok to be vocal about your goals and ambitions, but actions speak louder than words. Be your best at all times and communicate openly with your boss—it’s better to be invaluable than popular.
Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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