7 things your boss really wants from you

Posted by Moira McCormick on June 9, 2015
Moira McCormick

Like any relationship, the one that you have with your boss can have rocky moments, day-to-day business as usual, and times of greatness. But have you ever thought about what your boss really expects from you?

This article aims to provide seven things your boss really wants from you, to help you stop and think about how you could improve that relationship. You may already be thinking, "I am a strong performer", but there is a definite joint responsibility to continually review and build upon existing relationships.


1. Communication

A relentless focus on achieving your targets and completing projects in a timely manner will keep any boss happy, but one thing that managers really want is communication when things do not go as planned. Any manager worth their salt expects there to be blips along the road, but they want to be told about potential blips before they occur. Being told on a delivery date that you're late because of x or y reason will really annoy.


2. Solutions NOT Problems

So you've identified an issue, but how should you approach this with your boss? Managers hear lots of problems all day, and they're usually the ones who therefore need to come up with solutions. Therefore the next time you raise an issue, try and present a solution alongside it. It does not matter if it is not implemented, the sheer fact that you show initiative will go down well.


3. Mistakes

We all make mistakes, that is part and parcel of the learning process. What your boss really wants to see, is how you cope when these mistakes are made. If you tackle it head on, and do not bury your head in the sand it becomes a shared issue. Furthermore, if you can think about how the mistake could be avoided in the future, such as through better training, this will earn extra kudos.


4. Building a Team

Whilst it is important for you boss to build a dream team supporting their goals and objectives, it is also important to think about the team that supports and trusts you. This does not need to be individuals who directly report into you, but can be individuals with certain skills that can be called upon when needed because they have a positive relationship with you. If your Manager sees you as the go-to-person for bringing people together, your boss will see you in a better light, and it will start to inform them of how you will perform if you were put in a higher managerial position.


5. Being the "GO TO" Person

When in any business environment, high-pressure or otherwise, there will always be certain tasks that people do not want to do, or perhaps a desire to not take on extra responsibility. But think about how much pressure your management team is under. An "I'll do it" attitude, will establish yourself as the natural "go-to" person. Sure it will mean knuckling down a bit more to complete the extra work, but the payoff will be huge when it comes to promotions, pay rises and career development.


6. Do Your Job, and Doing it Well

It is all too easy to get carried away with how you should communicate better, be the go-to person, or build a team around you. Whilst these are very important, we should not ignore the job in front of us. If you are asked to do something. Do it well. Put the effort in. Poor work, will lead to a lack of trust between yourself and your boss, and will mean further rework and delays later down the line. Just remember that poor work reflects badly on the whole team, not just yourself.


7. All Work and No Play

Do not be afraid to get to know your boss. No one is "all work and no play", and you will be surprised at the varied personal interests your boss will have. They will appreciate your efforts getting to know what makes them tick, and you may even get some invaluable one-to-one time to display your skills and competencies.

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