How to be Assertive with Your Boss

small_4616447801For time management, your career development, and your general well being we all need to know how to be assertive with ‘your Boss’.
Why is having a successful relationship with your boss important?
Nearly half of our lives will be spent at work. Our lives can be fun and rewarding, after all, it is estimated we spend 41% of our lives at work. Since we spend another 30% of our lives asleep, unless we enjoy that big chunk of time, we’re not giving ourselves much of a chance for anything else.
The relationship you create and foster with both your boss, is essential for your work success, career progress and happiness.
And the good news is that you more than anyone else can materially affect that relationship one way or another. As with all elements of assertion your needs are important and so are the needs of your boss.
Your boss is human too
Your boss is human too, subject to the same forces, emotions and feelings as you. Your boss can’t do their job without your help and support. Your boss has information that you need to succeed. So, your manager shares a critical interdependence with you. If you don’t accomplish your work, your manager will never shine for his or her overall responsibilities. On the other hand, you won’t progress without the information, perspective, experience, and support of your manager.
Understanding is at the heart of influencing

  • Understand the key challenges of your boss, what are their objectives, concerns; what keeps them up at night and how can you in your job help support these demands on them?
  • Identify what your boss values in an employee. Do they like frequent communication, autonomous employees, requests in writing in advance of a meeting, or informal conversation as you pass in the hallway? Your boss’s preferences are important and the better you understand them, the better you will work with them.
  • I never came across a boss who appreciated surprises which made them look foolish to others because they did not know what was going on in their patch or on their watch
  • Nothing works better than genuine praise to change the nature of a relationship. Your boss will do things that will have a positive effect on you, your colleagues and the working environment – spot it when it happens and genuinely recognise and praise it.
  • Be the solution and not the problem – Try to schedule, at least, a weekly meeting during which you are prepared with a list of what you need and your questions. If there are problems to discuss, come to these meetings with ideas suggestions or proposals on what can be done to resolve them and your part in the resolution. This allows your boss to recognise the initiative you are taking and how you are being accountable.

For many more ideas about how to build an assertive relationship with the your boss and  build trust see our latest videos at How to be Assertive with your Boss.
photo credit: jazzijava via photopin cc

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