Monday, April 7, 2008

Managing Your Boss



The following outlines ways to manage your boss.

Managing the boss requires that you gain an understanding of the boss and his/ her own context, as well as your own situation.

At a minimum you need to appreciate your boss's goals and pressures as well as his or her strengths and weaknesses. Such as what are the boss's organizational and personal goals and objectives? What are the pressures? What are your boss's long suits and blind spots? What is his preferred style of working? Does s/he like to get information through memos, formal meetings or phone calls? Does s/he thrive on conflict or try to minimize it?

Without this information, a manager is flying blind when dealing with the boss and unnecessary conflicts, misunderstandings and problems are inevitable.

Developing and managing a relationship

With a clear understanding of your boss and yourself, you can usually establish a way of working together that fits both of you, that is characterised by unambiguous mutual expectations.

Compatible work styles

A good working relationship with a boss accommodates differences in work style. Subordinates can adjust their styles in response to their bosses' preferred method of receiving information. Peter Drucker divides bosses into "listeners" and "readers". Some bosses like to get information in a report so that they can study it others like it better when information is presented to them so they can ask questions. So the implications are obvious (says Drucker) if your boss is a listener you brief him/ her in person then follow up with a memo. If your boss is a reader you convert important items in a memo and then discuss them.

Other adjustments can be made according to a boss's decision-making style. Some bosses prefer to be involved in decisions and problems as they arise; these are high involvement managers who like to keep their hands on the pulse of the operations. Usually their needs are best satisfied if you touch base with them on an on going basis. Other bosses prefer to delegate - they do not want to be involved. They expect you to come to them with major problems and inform them about any important changes.

Creating a compatible relationship also involves drawing on each other's strengths and making up for each other's weaknesses.


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1 comment:

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