tv-show-best-boss-michael-scottDo you spend your day avoiding contact with your boss?

You’re not alone, interaction with the head honcho can be stressful and with the average American spending more than 8.8 hours per day at work, it’s probably high time we confronted the Shrek in the room.

Here are 5 ways to charm the office beast:

Happy Boss, Happy Employees!
  1. Know Thy Enemy. There’s no way you can make your boss happy if you don’t understand how he/she moves or what makes them tick. So step one is naturally getting to know your boss. He can smell fear so be confident and figure out a way to figure out what it is he needs and how, and most importantly, what he expects from you mere mortal. Yup, get all up in his business and retrieve the steaming hot tea! Does he like updates in a casual email, spreadsheet, or PowerPoint slides? Maybe he likes it written in long-hand, Klingon… doesn’t matter. You need to know what you’re up against.
  2. What is Your Boss’ Motivation? Perhaps you’re like me and your motivation doesn’t extend much further than figuring out the trajectory of the new cast of Love and Hip Hop, Hollywood. It matters not! You too need to figure out what it is the boss wants so you can home to your sweet, sweet DVR. S*&t rolls downhill my friend and it’s not different at work. Before you can do what you want you have appease the boss. Why not ask your boss for a brief one-on-one meeting to ask them how they can succeed. You may be surprised how far a little initiative will get you.
  3. Never Let Your Manager Drift Off Into the Dark. We all know this isn’t a party, its work. Despite that silly grin, nobody likes to be caught off guard at work; your boss is no different. This can be a tricky one. From my experience, I can tell you that that less-than-pleasant customer that just read you your rights will absolutely blow up your spot. Yes, they have that much time on their hands. Swallow your pride and give your supervisor a heads up. They’ll be more willing to hear you out if you get to them first. Being blindsided will do nothing but cause confusion and waste time, time is money so don’t do it to yourself.
  4. Don’t Waste Their Time. I get it, you’re new and don’t know where the extra reams of paper are or when the next open enrollment is. Take my word for it, they don’t care. Find someone who does. You know that guy who has gone to the kitchen to check on his lunch 20 times before noon? That’s your guy. He’s just dying for someone to talk to, ask him. Save your interactions with the big guy for when you have something worth talking about. You don’t want to be remembered as the guy jabbering on about nothing every time he runs into you. That guy never gets the big promotion.
  5. Don’t Alert Your Boss to a problem without a solution. I can’t stress this one enough! Chances are you were hired to contribute to solutions not constantly identify additional issues. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer so congratulations on figuring out why the whole second quarter strategy is a no-go but before you go screaming it from the rooftop, take a second to figure out 1 to 3 viable solutions that may save the day. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, I know it’s a lot of extra work but it will save you a lot of extra hours in the long run.

The bottom line is this kids, when you make your boss look good, you look good. Try to remember it’s not all sunshine, kittens and unicorns for them either. The more you make their job easier, the more likely they are to remember you when that corner office opens up!


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