Some bosses make it easy to know what they want, and other bosses…well, not so much. Yet there are certain habits you can put into play that will make any boss stand up and take notice of you. Here are seven ways to (practically) guarantee you’ll always put your best foot forward:
1. There are No Dumb Questions
If you ever worry that you might appear dumb asking a question, think of it this way: You’re information gathering. That doesn’t mean you need to pepper your boss with questions. But keep the communication flowing. And check in from time to time to see if you’re giving your boss enough info-or too much.
2. Expand Your Network
How strong are your relationships with colleagues and customers both inside and outside the company? The more you focus on developing relationship, the more you can help your boss. Keeping your boss informed about what you learn through these relationships can help both your careers.
3. Receive New Ideas Positively
Let’s face it: There will be times your boss puts forth a new idea that may make you want to say, “Why are you doing that?!” Look for ways to respond constructively, rather than pointing out flaws. Think of your relationship with your boss as a collaboration.
4. Be an Active Listener
It’s always a good idea to make sure your boss knows you’ve either understood directions or simply heard what she was telling you. This doesn’t mean you need to parrot back what she said. But give her some kind of acknowledgement that the task will be taken care of.
5. Take it to the Next Level
Naturally your most important responsibility is doing your own job and doing it well. But according to career expert Margaret Steen, when supervisors think about who should get a promotion, “The look for people who understand the issues that their bosses face”.
6. What Ticks Your Boss Off?
Does your boss hate late afternoon meetings? How does he feel about giving feedback every step of the way on a project? Know what your boss likes and doesn’t like-and make a private list of his pet peeves.
7. Know Your Own Strengths
Equally important as knowing your boss’s work habits, is taking an honest evaluation of your own strengths. Are you a detail-oriented kind of person? Do you have the ability to work well with customers and clients? Find the best way to make use of these assets. Bottom line: The better you know what you and your boss bring tot he table, the better team you make!