The Tricks to De­cod­ing Your Boss

Strate­gies to get you on your su­pe­rior’s good side.

CLEO (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Imag­ine if, af­ter slog­ging your way through school and ran­dom jobs, you fi­nally find your­self ex­actly where you want to be – in a great com­pany do­ing things you’re pas­sion­ate about... only to find you have a night­mare boss. It sucks but if you re­ally like this job, you’ll have to learn how to work with them.

Build­ing re­la­tion­ships

“It’s im­por­tant to bal­ance be­ing com­pe­tent and sup­port­ive, yet not be a threat to your boss,” says Cindy Leong, a re­la­tion­ship coach and an En­nea­gram prac­ti­tioner. (Read about the En­nea­gram per­son­al­ity types on the next page.)

But this doesn’t mean sud­denly agree­ing with your boss on ev­ery­thing (your in­ner con­science might have a fit and, be­sides, they’ll know some­thing’s up). The foun­da­tion of a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship is not based on a bedrock of a**-kiss­ing.

Cindy says it all comes down to un­der­stand­ing where the boss is com­ing from. “Gen­er­ally, peo­ple will want to col­lab­o­rate with you if they were to share the same flow of ideas. Peo­ple (your boss, in this case) would bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate you if you can add value to their lives and com­ple­ment their weak­nesses.” In other words, if you want to get along with your boss, you’ll have to spend some time think­ing about how to make their lives eas­ier.

Power play

It can of­ten feel like clashes with your boss are per­sonal – es­pe­cially if you’re par­tic­u­larly pas­sion­ate about the work you do. You might find some peace if you tell your­self that, at the end of the day, ev­ery­one has their rea­sons for do­ing what they’re do­ing. This might mean ac­knowl­edg­ing that your boss re­ally has the com­pany’s best in­ter­est at heart, or that a dis­agree­ment isn’t about you but their own is­sues.

It’s also im­por­tant not to try to do too much at once. You may risk over­step­ping bound­aries or threat­en­ing your boss’ au­thor­ity and that is def­i­nitely not go­ing to get you any­where. “It’s about

tak­ing the time to learn what your boss’s ex­pec­ta­tions are, his or her work­ing style, and how he or she would pre­fer to be treated,” says Cindy.

While many strongly be­lieve in the golden rule of “do unto oth­ers as you would have them do unto you”, this does not al­ways ap­ply in a work con­text as per­son­al­ity types may dif­fer. For ex­am­ple, some bosses pre­fer con­stant one-on-one com­mu­ni­ca­tion with staff, while some would largely leave their staff alone so they’ll have the space to do their best work.

Get­ting ahead with a lit­tle com­pas­sion

You don’t have to be best friends with your boss – it’s nor­mal that not ev­ery­one con­nects on a per­sonal level. And does gen­der play a role? Well, maybe, but for Cindy, it’s not the big­gest fac­tor. “I be­lieve it’s the per­son­al­ity of a per­son that mat­ters more than the gen­der,” says Cindy. So put your­self in your boss’ shoes and try to see things from their per­spec­tive, and maybe one day, you’ll have a chance to move for­ward on their rec­om­men­da­tion.

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