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Tips to Build a More Productive and Rewarding Relationship with Your Boss

1. KNOW YOUR BOSS’S PRIORITIES – Your boss’s opinion of you is critical. Linking your activities to what matters most to him or her makes you a more valuable team member. It also helps you make better decisions about how to spend your time.

This doesn’t mean that you need to agree with everything your boss says. When properly handled, disagreements can build your credibility and gain you greater support. Just make sure that both you and your boss are aiming for the same goals.

2. ASK WIIFH? – Before you present ideas to your boss, ask, “What’s in it for him?” Think about how your objectives further your boss’s goals and priorities. If you can demonstrate how your ideas will benefit your boss, you’re far more likely to get the support you want.

3. UNDER-PROMISE and OVER-DELIVER – It’s natural to want to impress your boss by making big promises. However, no matter how much you actually accomplish, if you don’t live up to the expectations you set, you can’t help but damage your reputation. When you deliver or over-deliver on your promises, you build credibility in the eyes of your superiors.

4. DON’T FOCUS ONLY ON PROBLEMS – Yes, your boss is busy. But just because you’re lucky to get a few moments, doesn’t mean you should focus only on difficulties. Make sure you regularly discuss positive performance and future plans.

5. OFFER SOLUTIONS – Never take a problem to your boss without offering 2 or 3 possible solutions at the same time. This gives you an opportunity to showcase your problem-solving ability. And if you simply want your boss’s input on a problem, be sure to make that clear. You don’t want to give your boss the impression that you’re trying to transfer your problem-solving responsbility to her.

6. ASK FOR FEEDBACK – One of the hallmarks of top performers is their habit of seeking out criticism to help them improve their performance. While compliments are always nice to receive, if you want to advance rapidly in your career, constructive criticism from your boss is often more useful. If your boss doesn’t coach regularly, be sure to ask about ways that you can improve your performance.