Managing your manager
Your boss can fire you - that makes them scary. But dealing with your manager in a productive way is a good idea. Whether they ignore you, bully you, or cry on you in the loss here's how to cope with your boss.
How can I get my new boss to like me?
"The first few weeks in a new job are crucial," says Arlene Stone, head of HR at Bath Spa University. "All those little things like turning up on time or early and making sure you're smart, cheerful and willing count. They can even shape the type of duties you're given. In addition to just doing what you're told, try to do things using your own initiative," she says.
"Remember, you're likely to be on a trial period, so make sure you're clear about what's expected of you," she adds.
Having confidence in yourself will help you stand out. After all, if your employers didn't think you could do the job, they wouldn't have hired you.
Talk to your boss about what's wrong
While a good working relationship will be based on respect and encouragement, often a bad relationship is due to stress, bad communication or poor training. While it's always possible your boss is just a grumpy control freak with no social skills, consider that they might be struggling at work as well. So if you seem to have got off on the wrong foot with your manager, ask yourself whether there are underlying problems that could be resolved.
How do I deal with a bad boss?
If you feel your relationship with your boss isn't good but aren't sure why, a good starting point is to ask yourself some questions, says Gill Trevelyan, Head of Good Practice Services atAcas.
Does your manager:
- Regularly talk to you - at team meetings or one-to-one - to find out how your work is going and inform you of work developments and news?
- Ask your opinion on workplace issues and listen to what you have to say?
- Treat you fairly and with respect?
- Set a good example in terms of timekeeping?
- Offer support and encouragement to help you develop?
"If the answer is 'no' to any of these questions then you may have cause for concern," says Gill. "But remember that good relationships at work are based upon a system of give and take."
What should a good boss do?
A good line manager should provide you with:
- Opportunity for job satisfaction
- Equal opportunities
- Clear objectives
- Flexible working and work-life balance
- Regular communication and consultation
What is my boss looking for in me?
In return you should try and give your manager:
- Effective performance
- Pride in a job well done
- Understanding of the bigger picture
- Regular feedback
Like any relationship, both sides need to work together. If you feel annoyed or frustrated by something, it's important to speak out, but pick your moment carefully. It's also important to keep your side of the bargain; if you're bored at work, think about asking for more responsibility.
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