How To Keep Your Boss Happy - and Move Forward

How to keep your boss happy is simpler than you think. I know the immediate reaction will be “Well, you don’t work for my boss, so it's easy for you to say!” I won’t profess to know the answers. And you are right; I may not have the answers. There are many personalities in this world and there are multitudes of contexts these personalities work in.

First things first, the most obvious to do and often ignored point is to change your mindset. Accept the fact that you can make your boss happy and that it is possible. At the very least, the fact that you ended up reading this is because you want to work on how to keep your boss happy. So, that is a good start.

1. Know Your Bosses’ Style
Do you know how does your boss work best? Is she an evening person, which means in the morning she is probably grouchy and cannot process information? Or she has a tendency to make impulsive decisions at a certain time of the day maybe because she is handling something else at that time?

Know her schedule; are there periods of time when she will be stressed out? For example, some bosses are stressed out right after a management meeting. For obvious reasons, you do not plan to get that all-important signature from her at that time.

How does your boss like to be updated and when? Is an email summary enough? Or is she the kind that likes formal daily reports? She dispenses all these and is happy with a verbal debrief? When you learn your boss’s style, you learn how to keep your boss happy.

2. Communicate
This sounds easy enough but a lot of newbie at work forget the most important thing on how to keep your boss happy is to communicate with him. Let’s start by asking. Do not assume anything. For example, in the next meeting are you expected to prepare the agenda or your boss? Well, the best way to know is to ASK.

Be honest with your boss, keeping your boss informed no matter how far you have climbed the corporate ladder is important. It is even more important to be honest with good and bad news. Do not hide bad news and do not make things seem trivial when in fact they need your boss’s attention immediately. No matter how bad the news is, your boss needs to know. It’s better for you bring it to him than for him to find out from someone else.

Be reliable, always under promise and over deliver. I have seen juniors at work who are so afraid to disappoint the bosses that they promise deadlines that cannot be delivered. Not being able to keep your promise often cast doubts on your capability.

Be there when the unit needs you and volunteer for additional work when the opportunity arises. Learn to be reliable if you want to know how to keep your boss happy. Down right to small things like making it to work on time!

3. Learn How To Use The Boss’s Time Well
Not wasting your boss’s time on small matters is one thing you need to know to keep your boss happy. Learn when to involve your boss and when not to. Learn when she expects to be involved and when she trusts you enough to make decisions or attends meetings on your own. Initially you maybe unclear but across time a pattern will appear and you will know intuitively when to involve her. Again, if you are unclear – ASK.

4. Cooperate With Others
This may sound simple, but you would be surprised how many people in the working world cannot work with each other. Learn to cooperate at work early in your work life and prepare yourself for that managerial post. Managers need to learn how to work intra department and inter department.

When you learn how to cooperate with your colleagues regardless of departments, you learn how to keep your boss happy. One of the many things that irritates bosses are the constant whining and complains about having to work with a certain department or person. There is not much your boss can do in most situations especially if it is more of a personality clash. You are better off learning to cooperate.

5. Be Willing to Grow And Pay The Price
This means you are willing to be groomed for a higher position. And not only are you willing to be groomed, you are willing to pay the price too. What price? Well, the price for professional growth is struggle and sacrifice. If you work under the right boss – and we all hope you do – your boss will want you to grow professionally.

Take personal responsibility for your own career growth too. While one expects the boss to coach and mentor, you must be willing to work hard. You must be willing to sacrifice time and put in that extra effort that winners are made of. How to keep your boss happy? Have a winning attitude at work and take personal responsibility for your own growth too. Your boss can guide and facilitate, but ultimately you need to do your part.

There are of course many more ways on how to keep your boss happy, these are some you can use today!

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