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9 Ways to Get Along With Your Boss

Bernadette Kenny
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August 12, 2014

Work always seems more energized after the summer. So it is a great time to establish a terrific relationship with your boss. Your boss wants to have a good relationship and in fact, every boss wants a strategic “number two” on their staff. Here are ways to both improve your relationship and make the most of it. These are also good guidelines if you are starting a new job.

Remember the first rule – your boss is in charge, not you,so get used to it. Your ultimate job is to make your boss look good.

Match your daily work schedule if you can. Your boss gets in at 8, you get in at 8.

Anticipate the boss requests. If a weekly report is due on Tuesdays, have it ready and hand it in, do not wait to be asked.

Never surprise your boss. If the weekly report will show bad news, tell your boss the day before first and give a heads up. Good news is always ready to be shared.

Your boss may have earned workplace flexibility. Observe it and don’t resent it. Your time will come.

At meetings, always have an extra agenda for your boss at the ready, and if no meeting agenda is prepared, you prepare it and provide it. There can always be modifications, but it gets the work moved forward.

Don’t argue in public or on email with your boss. This is no win. Great responses include, “I never thought of that,” or “that’s an interesting perspective,” or “let’s consider it.”

Never go “around” your boss. If there is a major issue that is unresolved with your boss, the best strategy is to inform your boss that you will be going to the executive. If an executive asks your opinion during a conversation, update your boss on what happened quickly. Again, no surprises.

Finally, your boss is not your friend, brother, sister, parent or confidant. Hopefully you can work as partners but never expect socialization. Sometimes it happens, and that is fine, but don’t expect it.

One of the most critical roles in any organization, department or company is the number two role. As a career move, understand what suits you best and you might be surprised to realize your strengths are as the second in command.


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