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Posted on December 3, 2021
The internet is resplendent with reads on how to manage teams effectively but not so much on how to manage one’s boss. While team handling capabilities are an explicit KRA on most Managers’ goals/appraisal sheets; one of the most critical yet implicit factors that decide your success or growth in a company is the relationship you share with their immediate Reporting Manager or Boss!
And this one Ladies and Gentleman has not found its’ due place in Appraisal sheets, at least not yet !
The team at Kanakkupillai calls it “The Fine Art of Boss Management”. Here’s a disclaimer to this quote though – By Boss Management we definitely do not imply using tricky, conniving measures like stepping on other colleagues toes/shoes to make yourself look like a better performer. While some of these tricks might get you a better pay-package, promotion to a sought after role in the company etc. etc.; any of this success will at best be short-lived and shallow. The bridges you burn with innumerable colleagues in the bargain and lose respect in their eyes is a definite consequence; which will sooner or later catch up in what the universe calls as “The Karmic Boomerang Effect”. And trust us you do not what to be at the receiving end of that. So what are we hinting at here, let’s take a look-
- The three ingredients that will define your success in a Managerial Role are as follows-
A) Your Individual Performance – The Key Responsibility Areas that your role demands;
B) Your Team’s Performance – The team members’ individual & overall performance as a group
for e.g. in a project;
C) The Relationship you share with your Boss!’
We are surrounded by folks in most companies irrespective of its’ industry/sector – who find ‘the easy way up’ by paying more than warranted attention to the third ingredient. You know why because the first two require hard work. The simpler folks who believe in honest and transparent hard-work live a utopian professional life; because they believe if they can take care of the first two, the third one will be taken care of by default. So they invest all their energies in balancing the first two ingredients. There is nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately we are living in a not so utopian scenario. Unless we learn to balance all three – the scales of corporate justice will invariably tilt towards the former category of folks. And we do not suggest that! So- here’s what you can do-
While we assume that you are already equipped with mastering the first two ingredients, here are a few handy notes that can help you define your personal third ingredient-
1) View your Boss through a 360 degree lens –
Instead of looking at your boss as someone who evaluates your work or gives raises/promotions; view them as a full person. Understand their career aspirations, their personal hobbies, their fears, concerns, limitations etc. Remember they are also evolving like every other entity in the universe.
2) What goes in your Boss’s goal sheet for the year-
Understand as to what are his or her performance goals? The more you can support your boss in achieving their objectives for the year, the better your relationship will be. Bring in your awareness that most managers get almost no leadership training and very little support. They can do much better with all the support that you can render to them by simply aligning yours’ & your teams’ focus & energies towards what they need to fulfil in their capacity.
3) Acknowledge any help they send your way-
Do acknowledge your boss when they help you, advise you, take care of an issue for you, remember something important you hoped they would remember, and generally support you in doing your job. It goes a long way in cementing what is the most important
relationship in your workspace for you.
4) Share constructive feedback-
There are always areas related to your boss’s work which if handled differently can make life easier for lot of people in his team including you. Instead of whining/complaining, take whatever you or other team members are unhappy about and turn it into a positive
suggestion. For e.g. if some important communication is not reaching you/your team from your boss or other higher-ups in the company, you can always request a timely action that your Boss could take to ensure you all receive the information in a timely manner.
5) No one said you have to be Best Buddies-
While a pleasant, healthy working relationship with your Boss is a definite plus, do not break your head, if you still haven’t reached that one with him or her. Think about what you want over the long term, way beyond this job, and how this position will help you reach your long- term goals. You don't have to become best friends with your boss or become his or her favorite employee. You can rise up in altitude through this experience. You can take charge of your workplace relationships by looking at your role in them!
And finally, acknowledge yourself for owning your relationships — because not everybody does. Not everybody can get out of their hurt and fear enough to see how we can all reinforce one another. Not everyone can operate from what we call Mother Nature’s secret success recipe “I AM because WE ARE”. The day you welcome this shift in your life, your working life will become a beautiful and enjoyable experience.