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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to win over your boss?

One of the readers of my blog after reading “Delegation of Powers” raised a question “What to do when the middle level manager, who gets along well with his subordinates, but has almost always differences of opinion with the top boss, but forced to implement the decisions.

The very simple solution for the same is "Do the same to your boss, of what you expect from your subordinates." Many of us do not apply this and do not understand how your subordinates pleased you in similar situation

The boss

If you think you're working for a bad boss, you have plenty of company. Of 1,118 people who completed a survey at the web site last year, "48 percent said they would fire their boss if they could, 29 percent would have their boss assessed by a workplace psychologist and 23 percent would send their boss for management training.

The dilemma faced by middle managers at all levels. is like a bewildered, hapless cat standing between a large, pointing, barking dog on one side and a small, distraught yapping dog on the other. When you were promoted or promised promotion, you were probably not warned about all the ways in which you would be “caught in the middle”. In this presentation, I want to talk about some of the ways in which you can be in the middle.

How can so many people be so unhappy with their bosses at the same time so many bosses clearly are trying to do a better job?


Most of us have a natural aversion to authority and tend to instanly dislike the boss. The common perception is that"he is always out to get me". In fact, it seems like his very job to make you suffer. You keep confronting him and constantly dream of boxing his ears or somehow making his job difficult for him.

Yet, despite the brewing squabbles and resentment, deep down you do realise that there is not much choice but to keep a decent relationship going with your boss. This is essential for your very survival and growth and hostility will only damage your careers.

Having an antagonistic relationship with your supervisor is a career killer. No matter, how skilled you are, if you don't have a good relationship with your boss, your job is not secure.

When requesting any modification to policies or procedures, you must first view the situation from a management perspective. Consider these three questions. How would this change benefit the business? What problems might the change create for management? How could those problems be avoided?

The study draws on Hofstede's concept and classification of national culture to predict that job satisfaction will be lower, job tension higher, and interpersonal relations poorer for managers in the high power distance,

Mid-level managers often end up in their positions because they were good at detail-oriented performance, not because they were trained as managers. The skills that boosted them into management may not be the ones they need to be successful in their new roles

New managers often struggle because they are moving from a job they mastered to a new arena where they have low competence and start to be judged not just by their own work but by the work of the people they supervise.”

I would tell some- one who is just entering management to understand, it is just as important to explain the ‘why’ as to manage the ‘how.’”

It takes different skill sets to be a boss as you move up. In supervising front line staff, you may need to be more involved with process. When you are managing senior executives, the challenge is to try to create understanding and align to a vision.

If your bosses are good, then you may actually function as a manager, but frequently the last word in "middle management" is a joke, because, while you have tremendous day to day responsibility, you aren't really in on management decisions that effect policy and procedure.

You, after all, are responsible for virtually all of their actions while they are under your immediate command, and you are expected to know what they are doing and how well they are doing it. If they screw up you may be held partially accountable. If there is a major screw-up and there is any way you might have possibly intervened, you better believe others will be out to get you even if your bosses support you.

Then, I have to be frank with you, there isn't much you can do except muddle through trying to think over each decision, every comment you make, as to the long range consequences. Try not to jump in with a short term "out" that you will regret later. After all, these are all people you'll be working with closely and who you will be counting on to back you up.


Theboss is not often your enemy. The problem may very well lie with you as you subconciously resent taking orders and being told what to do. You have to learn to submit to authority and do what the boss says. This will lead to a more satisfactory relationship on both sides.

Try your best to please your boss, but do not overdo this, as most managers actually despise such behaviour. Look for opportunities to compliment his work and make him look good. Even if you don't agree with him always, behave professionally and subtly after suggestions, solutions, or feed back according to the situation. Attempt to clear the air as many times as simple misunderstandings can be the root cause of great conflicts.

Make the effort to get to know him by engaging in casual conversation whenever possible, without crossing the limit, i.e getting too personal.

Remember that no matter how draconian he may appear to you, the boss is also after all human. You often do not realise how much your bosses depend on you. They need cooperation, reliability and honesty from their direct reports. And if you have them, why should he hate you. You also do not realise how much you depend on your boss for links to the rest of the organisation, for setting priorities and for obtaining critical resources.

So treat him nicely while appreciating his pressures, recognising his concerns and understanding his objectives. Show you boss that you are on his side by working hard and being a dependable, crdible employee who is committed to the organisation's growth. Delivering consistent and quality results will show that you are not a slacker, but genuinely involved in your work. Also try to understand his preferred style of working and adjust accordingly, by accommadating the glaring differences.

You can actually turn your boss in to your ally by looking to him as your guide and even a mentor who can help you to succeed. Do not hesitate to discuss your work problems and seek advice on your career growth. (Always show the problems as common, by not making any particular person or department is the cause for the same). He will be happy that you trust him and value his opinion enough to act on it. thus further strengthening your relationship. But, be careful in all your expressions that you do not over act or it appears to be so.

Never ever gossip about the boss or your opinion about him even with your closest collegues, save it for family and close friends. At times, you will be surprised, how did it reach him

The trick is to treat you boss as your client. Pretend like you are in business, and that your boss is most important ( and quite possibly your most difficult) client, who give you maximum business.

Do not forget that your future is well and truly in your boss's hands. He will not only determine your promotion, raise your salary or assign you to a plum project on which you haveyour eyes on, but also is persumably the guy who will sign your next pay cheque.

Even if you have had a rocky relationship until now, it makes sense to rebuild the broken bridges by apologising for the previous bad attitude and making nice by making nice by sing the tips mentioned earlier.

And, once a healthy, compatible and productive relationship is in place, great things will always happen.

As I say all the time, but will say again: talk things through with your spouse and close friends, don't stuff your feelings.

( from various sites and also from Payal Chanaia from The Hindu)