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How to Have a Good Working Relationship With Your Direct Manager?

by Advisory Group

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You just started a new position? You are probably still navigating through the work process, trying to get to know your coworkers, and making sure you keep up with the job responsibilities. How about your working relationship with your manager? A healthy relationship with your direct supervisor can help you perform better at work, improve your morale, and can play a key role in future promotions and advancement opportunities. Here are a few tips:

1. Understand Your Manager’s Work Style

Do you know if your boss like short sentence explication, or long detailed one? When is the best time to approach your boss for help or advice? Does your boss want you to keep updating him on every single update, or simply a summary at the end of the week? If an issue arises, does your boss want you to try to resolve by yourself first, or would like you to get him involved immediately? How can you know the answers to all these questions? By asking your manager directly, and by observing how your manager responds to different types of communication in the office.

Knowing all these the earliest possible can improve your relationship with your manager, as you can predict when it is the best time and when it is not a good time to speak to him.

2. Ask Your Manager For Feedback

Do you know how you are performing at work? Don’t be afraid to ask your manager for regular feedback. It will help you do progress, show that you are open-minded and willing to improve. Managers are very busy handling multiple tasks and managing many employees, and won't necessarily have the time to give you their feedback if you don’t ask for it.

3. Take Initiative and Be Proactive

Who doesn’t like an employee who takes on more responsibilities and shows the eagerness to learn new things? If you finished your tasks for the day, and still have spare time, ask a coworker if they need any help, or your manager if there is anything you can do to help. By being proactive, and not waiting for your manager to ask you to do things, it shows that you are a real team player, ready to take on more responsibilities and continuously finding ways to add value to the company.

4. Know Your Manager's Expectations

You were hired to execute certain tasks and responsibilities, but do you know what are the deadlines? What are the priorities? By when are each task expected to be completed? Have a discussing with your manager regarding your job specifications and his expectation. If you cannot meet the expectations, let your boss know in advance and the reason why you will not be able to meet.

5. Avoid Office Gossip

Try to not get yourself involved in any office drama or conflict. Show how professional you are and show that when you are at work, your focus is on your tasks and responsibilities, and not gossip.