Managing your boss

November 19, 2017

In a classic top-down organization, managing your boss entails consciously working with higher-level managers to achieve the best possible results for you. Effective managers devote time and effort not only to their employees but also to their superiors. It is usually costly to be unable to manage higher.

Personality clashes are merely a small portion of the issue. According to a Gallup poll, half of all employees in the United States resign due to their superiors. People have created incorrect assumptions and expectations about the boss’s character in subordinate relationships, which is a more serious issue. It requires two people to rely on each other to manage their relationship effectively.

On the one hand, the manager requires employee assistance and cooperation to complete the task honestly. Some executives consider themselves to be self-sufficient, with little reliance on their superiors. This viewpoint, however, is harmful because the manager can help people connect with the organization. Some managers make the mistake of assuming that their supervisor will know what assistance their employees require and would supply it. But this is not a legitimate expectation for other human beings. Effective managers recognize this and embrace the main responsibility for their professional advancement.

Managing a mutual dependency scenario necessitates a thorough grasp of your own and the other person’s strengths, limitations, work styles, and needs. To avoid confrontations and misunderstandings, you must grasp your boss’s goal, pressure, objective, and blind spots. Managers that are effective seek out information about their boss’s goals and problems. They look for opportunities to evaluate their assumptions by asking questions. They used this information to create a positive working environment that is compatible and fits the other person’s demands.

Reflecting on your experience, on the other hand, can help you gain a greater sense of self-awareness. Typically, subordinates are more reliant on their superior than vice versa. This restriction causes negative emotions or even rebellion. Escalating the confrontation to combat institutional foes who are impeding progress could be rash. Psychologists refer to this reaction as counter-dependent behaviour. Power imbalance favouring the supervisor is a primary cause of abusive supervision, according to a study. When the employer is dictatorial, there will be more problems. The boss turns against you and loses your trust. According to research, having a poor boss can be akin to suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

On the other hand, some subordinates swallow their rage and concur when the boss makes a stupid decision. It is harmful to view the boss as the father knows the best character and should protect them in their profession. Generally, people are brainwashed by the popular TV sitcom show - “Father Knows Best”. This false notion of endless time and knowledge of everything is difficult to modify. However, being aware of the extremes might help you comprehend the consequences of how you treat your boss. You can predict and understand the reactions of a supervisor who has a counter-dependency or over-dependency relationship with you, which makes both of you less successful.

You can develop a working relationship that suits both of you after a clear understanding of yourself and your supervisor. According to research, higher levels of involvement in various forms are associated with multiple beneficial organizational outcomes, including individual job performance, team effectiveness, and customer satisfaction ratings. Subordinates can adapt their techniques to their employers’ preferred methods of receiving information, ranging from reading to listening. Other changes include the decision-making approach, which runs from ad hoc to delegation.

It’s also important to consider each other’s strengths and shortcomings when forming a compatible partnership. Subordinates should not take it for granted that their employer would communicate their expectations in great detail. Rather, the subordinates should inquire about the boss’s expectations. Effective managers seek information in unconventional ways, such as informal meetings, based on the boss’s personality.

Subordinates must also convey their expectations to the supervisor to develop a functional set of mutual expectations. It’s critical to persuade your manager to value your aspirations and establish a good bar.

The amount of information required varies according to the boss’s personality. Effective managers recognize when they are underestimating what their boss needs and work to keep them informed. Even if the employer does not want to hear it, you can share your coworkers’ good news and complaints.

A pledge to an optimistic delivery date may please a superior in the short term, but it will become a source of dissatisfaction if not kept. If a subordinate is more consistent, the supervisor can trust them. If the subordinate could acquire reasonably reliable data, the boss could operate more efficiently. We need to establish trust between workers and boss so that delegation of duties and responsibilities can be smooth.

The management of the connection takes time and effort, and good managers recognize the value of this activity in simplifying their jobs by removing possible problems. It’s better to use the boss’s time wisely and focus on big concerns rather than little details. After all, you are ultimately responsible for what you can do in an organization by understanding the importance of building and managing connections, especially with your employer.


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Experience in software development, application architecture, and deploying cloud solutions for enterprise customers. Strong hands-on skills with a Master's degree in Computer Science and business acumen with a master of business administration (MBA) in Finance. Certified in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA) and Scrum (PSM, PSPO) with experience in building banking products from scratch. Connect on Linkedin

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