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The most difficult boss I have ever worked with was a lady. It may not come as a surprise to you given the inherent belief that women do not get along with other each other, however, that woman was just impossible.

Nothing I did could please her. I later realised that to avoid frustration, I had to manage her.

To many people managing your boss may sound ridiculous.

Most people are used to the top down type of management.

The experience you will have in a company not only rests on how good you do your job but most of it has to do with how you relate with your boss.

In most cases I have seen people who avoid their bosses yet the same person literally holds the door to your raise, your promotion and getting other perks and opportunities.

All these special incentives are dependent on how well you manage your boss, not how well the boss manages you.

A boss has the potential of blocking your ascendancy up the corporate ladder. He or she is therefore an important resource in your professional life.

They are able to make decisions in your favour. You should be the kind of person that can easily be relied on.

If given a deadline, make sure you adhere by it. Make sure that you establish clear communication lines with your boss.

The delivery of bad news to the boss has the potential of straining your relationship. Some bosses have the tendency of shooting the messenger you must study your boss to know how to break bad news to him or her.

You should also be humble. Nothing irritates a boss more that a subordinate who pretends to know it all and does not want to be corrected.

Be open to corrections and at the same time do not be the type of person that just presents problems without offering possible solutions.

When going for a meeting with your boss, ensure that you are prepared for the meeting. An hours’ meeting with the boss will attract an hour of preparing the agenda.

When your relationship with your boss gets rocky, it is you that must manage it. Take time to understand your boss strengths and weaknesses.

As a manager that has responsibility of managing subordinates, products portfolios, you must not maintain a passive stance when dealing with your boss.

The boss-manager relationship is a mutually beneficial one. The boss needs you to be able to function effectively.

Most managers often assume that they would have studied their bosses adequately. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses is not enough.

Take time to study the boss, organisational and personal objectives, how he or she behaves under pressure, their style of working, personal management skills, is he or she an early morning or late afternoon type of person.

Take time to study this, it will be helpful to you. Friction between manager and boss is never healthy.

I know of a relationship that turned sour to the point of a manager supplying false information about a project that their boss was in charge of and conclusions were made based on that information resulting in the project ending in disaster.

I have watched a lot of managers try to imitate their predecessors’ style to please their boss. Be careful as you do so because it takes away your individual uniqueness.

Watching your boss’ management style is especially important if the boss is new. There are some managers that prefer to write reports while others prefer formal meetings with set agendas.

Some bosses prefer to have informal meetings as opposed to the formal process of brainstorming.

Knowledge is power, knowing which switch to turn on and how will assist you in your quest.

When discussing with your boss his or her expectations, make sure you are clear about their expectations.

You may not have the information of how to pull off a project, do not be shy to ask and seek clarification as to their standard of perfection and success.

Blaming your boss for wrong decisions made is not going to help you in any way. Take charge and take responsibility for successes and failures that you both share.

When managing your boss, you are building a successful relationship with them against all odds.

Your behaviour, your attitude and the type of information you are equipped with will help nurture that relationship.

In the hierarchy of communication, your boss is your internal customer therefore treat him or her with ultimate respect and sensitivity.

The case where you answer to more than one boss needs more strategies, you may be a victim of personalities pulling you in different directions that have competing authority and interests.

Who then do you manage effectively to serve your interests? The solution is in the level of engagement you are bringing to the table with every boss you report to.

Till next week, may God richly bless you!

Shelter Chieza is a management consultant. She holds over a decade of management experience. She can be contacted at shelter.chieza@gmail.com

Source : The Herald