Success at Work: People Skills : Working With Your Boss
Most advice about success at Work focuses on becoming a good leader, but
you can't become a good leader until you first become a good follower. Your
boss is the most important individual to work with to achieve success at Work.
Your boss can provide you with training, assignments, opportunities, and
advancement within the organization.
Many young people entering the work force are surprised to learn that their
boss is not perfect. Your boss is a unique individual that can get in a bad
mood, make a bad decision, or exhibit imperfections just like anyone else. The
key to achieving success at Work is to Work around the idiosyncrasies of Your boss.
Meeting Your Bosses' Standards
Some workers never take the time to understand the requirements of an assignment.
At Motorola, I worked on a project that was getting behind schedule and over budget.
At a project meeting, the boss asked us to not embellish our assignments with all
kinds of extras. He said "Just meet the requirements".
After that meeting, every time I received an assignment I stopped and thought,
"Exactly what are the requirements for this assignment?" Stopping to consider the
requirements has served me well through the years - including getting me through college.
What are your bosses standards for quality? Some bosses just want a quick and
dirty job. Some bosses expect everything to be perfect. Some bosses SAY they just
want a quick and dirty job, but when they don't get perfect results, they complain.
The solution is to determine the requirements of the assignment and just meet the
requirements. Nothing more, nothing less.
Accommodating Your Bosses Work Style
Some bosses like to involve them self in your assignment. I've seen cases where
the boss gives an assignment, and then sits with you while you're working on the
assignment. Most of the time, boss involvement relates to making decisions. Some
bosses want to make all the decisions, especially when the worker is new and unknown.
Some bosses expect you to make all the decisions yourself. They give you an
assignment and then make them self scarce so you can't ask any questions. They
just want you to get the job done. They don't want to be bothered with the details.
Some bosses want to know every little detail of the progress of the assignment.
You need to learn how to accommodate the work style of your boss. It's best to
make as many decisions as possible yourself. Keep your boss informed about the
progress of your assignment with regular updates. Recognize when the importance
of a decision requires you to consult with the boss. Respect your bosses time. If
you need help, approach the boss at an opportune moment for the boss and ask when
would be a good time to talk. Before you approach the boss for a decision, be
prepared to offer possible solutions that the boss might choose from.