A study conducted by Tellyourboss.com reported that only 36% of Americans are happy with their job. 65% percent of those unhappy at work blame their boss, saying a change in management would improve their work situation, while the other 35% would choose a pay raise to better enjoy, or endure, their employment.
“Unfortunately for most of us, we have, or will have at some point, a difficult boss,” says author Beverly Flaxington.
According to a Gallup poll, 75 percent of all turnovers are influenced by managers — that is, a bad boss is often the tipping point in an employee’s decision to leave.
“Instead of leaping to another job hoping that the next one will be better, it’s important to develop managing-up skills, says Flaxington. "The more you learn to manage up, the more successful you will be wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.”
Flaxington, a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst, is the author of five business books, including her latest, “Make Your SHIFT: The Five Most Powerful Moves You Can Make to Get Where YOU Want to Go.”
Here are four tips from Flaxington for managing your boss, without the boss knowing you’re doing it.
1. Match your behavioral style to hers. Observe your boss’s behavioral and communication style. Is she fast-paced and quick to make decisions? Is she slow to think about things and wants time to process? The more you can match your style to your boss’s style when communicating, the more she will really hear what you’re saying.
2. Think about his “what’s in it for me?” Every time you approach your boss, try to imagine what he cares about. What do you know about the view from his seat? Can you frame comments in a way that make him feel that what you’re proposing or doing benefits him?
3. Be a proactive communicator. Find out your boss’s preferred method — email, in person drop-ins, or lengthy memos — and be sure to pass along information to her regularly. Most bosses don’t like to be caught unawares. Even if your boss doesn’t ask it of you, tell her what’s going on — keep her updated.
4. Accommodate the weaknesses. If you know you have a boss who’s disorganized, instead of grousing about it, help him to be on top of things. If you know your boss is often late to meetings, offer to kick off the next meeting for him. If you know your boss is slow to respond, continue to work on a project while you wait to hear back from him. Will you be hiding your boss and enabling bad behavior? Maybe, but you’re also giving much-needed support to succeed.
Remember, too many times people will start to slack off or stop performing well because of a bad boss. Don’t do it. Keep your mind focused on top performance.
See what other tips for managing your career are available at The Career Channel.