Most of us will have had a tricky time with a boss whether in the past or perhaps even currently. If so, know that this is not uncommon and that you are not alone. There will be times when you don’t see eye to eye or when you feel like you are being dealt with unfairly. You may have unreasonable demands placed upon you or you may feel like you just don’t click.

The first point here is for you to appreciate your boss’s goals and pressures. Find out what they are measured on and what their pain points are. If you can make them look good or ease their pressure, they will have more time for you. Get to understand what pushes their buttons.

One way you can view your boss is as a client. Find out what their expectations are and work to manage them. If your boss were a client, think about how you would handle that relationship. You would want to have regular meetings with them, inform them of changes, look to provide solutions for them and communicate effectively.

Work out what is the best way to communicate with your boss. Do they prefer face-to-face, email or phone? Find out what they prefer in the way of reports and written communication. Do they like lots of detail or bullet points?

Tell your boss what you need. Be proactive in telling them your preferences and outline any resources you need to get the job done. Remember that you are not their sole focus, so try not to take all of their time.

Sometimes you manager will not be quick with decisions. You need to be able to communicate what you need in these circumstances. Help to sell the reasons as to why you need a decision when you do and the downside of delays. Avoid sounding like the doom machine though. Don’t make everything dramatic or imminent as your boss will quickly tire of that behaviour.

The micro manager

If your boss is overly controlling or very involved in everything you do, it’s likely that they need more confidence in you. Start off by asking for complete responsibility in smaller tasks and then work up to bigger ones. Prove to them you are quite capable. Make sure you deliver excellent work consistently and seek to build trust.

The indecisive manager

If your boss is vague or hesitant, limit the choices you give them and make a single clear recommendation. If you feel that things are vague, seek clarification to help you and them get clarity. Communicate your deadlines clearly and follow up.

The unreasonable manager

If your boss overloads you with work or fails to see what pressure you are under, organise a meeting to discuss the priorities and options for excessive work. Avoid sounding negative about what’s asked of you and explain what problems may arise if you don’t organise what’s the most important priorities.

Overall, you want to be able to understand your boss and provide consistent good work. Help them to look good and be clear with them of your needs to.

Find out more in the book: ‘Leading a Team’ available on Amazon here >>>