I really agree with the idea of managing your boss because I did get benefit out of it. The following is my experience of managing my boss.
Get to know your boss
On the first day of my first internship, I was curious what kind of boss I was going to have. It was a refined middle-aged man, wearing a pair of glasses, I suspect that he used to be a technician. He gave me a mentor. In addition to the weekly, we never really have any conversation with real contents. We just talk some about irrelevant things – often the news of those boring gossip during lunch. He assigned me the task I need to do, I would never have any opinion about the job. I spent my first 6 months internship in this way. At the end of it, still know nothing about my boss. Frankly speaking, my boss was very nice to me, he also helped me to apply for a company’s grand prize. But in addition to work, we have never had any in-depth communication, he will not ask my thinking or demands and future plans. I never care about his pressure and his expectations to me. I would not communicate with him about salary and bonus. I think I am like most of the people who just enter the workplace, I will not deliberately please the boss and kiss his ass, and will not be against the boss, I will just do whatever I have been told.
Later, I changed my internship to a very well-known foreign companies.My new boss is a few years older than me. He likes to sharing his own things with us when arranging works, and occasionally he would invite some colleagues in his room just to have some casual talks. At first I do not used to it and want to hide myself deeply. Gradually I feel safe with my new boss and love to be more open to him. Once he invited me to join his private party of his friends and several colleagues , I am a little flattered, but at the same time feel a little uneasy. We barbecued on the bank of a river, chatting about our families, life, career. After this party, our psychological distance was suddenly narrowed – I get to know my boss again. For me, his image and character gradually looks more vividly, with flesh and blood.
It is important to understand the boss (and his appeal). Knowing his personal information like character, work experience, family member sand so on will help you treat him as an equal person as yourself. We can chat with friends endlessly, but we tend to be stumbling when we were giving a speech even though facing the same people. Why is it? It is because the intimate and equal relationship is broken. Likewise, if you put your boss in a position you feel you can not get near, more than likely you will not have a healthy and beneficial relationship with your boss.
Manage the expectation of both sides
Later, our one on one talk becomes more interesting and efficiently because I become more straightforward about my thoughts. He tells his expectations of me, I tell him my expectations of him and my job goals, and then we try to coordinate the ideas of both sides. The boss naturally manages your expectations and goals, but my experience is: as a subordinate, you also need to manage both the expectations and goals. If there is a deviation between the expectation from your boss and yourself , we must make timely feedback; at the same time you should let him know your expectation to him. This is the same as the negotiations, the boss can exert influence on you, you can in turn impose a reasonable impact on him.
Boss and employees should respect each other on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual trust. As a staff, do not passively wait for all things happen, we should take more straightforward communication and take the initiative to seek “respected”. Managing your boss is forging ties based on mutual respect and understanding(John J.Gabarro, John P. Kotter 1993).
Manage the boss’s time
Everyone’s time is limited. With more things on hand , the less time you can allocate on one. My current boss is managing several large teams across the time zone now. He is either in the meeting or on the way to join the meeting. It can be very hard to find a time to talk to him. So as a staff, you have to know how to manage the boss time – take the initiative to ask them to schedule out some time for your service, Otherwise, you will be forgotten forever.
I usually take the initiative to set a time to meet the boss. The frequency will generally be at least once a month, about half an hour one time. It does not sound like a big deal, but imagine if you have dozens of people to control, countless meetings to participate in every month, that time is really precious. If my boss says no to my request, then I will give back, or let him provide a suitable frequency and more comfortable time for him. During these meeting, my ties with the boss forged more effectively.