How to build a better relationship with your boss

Building a good relationship with your boss isn’t always an easy thing to do, but to ensure success in your role and even later in your career its necessary. We’re all familiar with the idea that all employees hate their bosses that we see depicted in movies and TV shows but that shouldn’t be the norm or what is expected at work. Everyone has a different management and work style and coming to an understanding with your boss is the only way to reach a healthy professional relationship. Employee engagement is directly linked to turnover rates and managers play a critical role in keeping employees engaged in at work. Less than one-third of American workers are engaged at their jobs. The relationship managers have with their direct reports can either create or destroy their enthusiasm to do their job.

Image: Everyday Feminism 

Image: Everyday Feminism 

Here are five steps to building a better relationship with your boss:

Schedule one on one meetings. Getting facetime with your boss is extremely important to laying a strong foundation for your relationship. Most managers don’t take the initiative to schedule these meetings but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to meet with you. Take it upon yourself to schedule bi-weekly meetings with your boss and discuss what’s really going on with you and update them on your projects. If you never see your boss, chances are you’ll get disengaged and end up hating your job.


Think like your boss. Become indispensable by always staying ahead of the game. Get to know how your manager operates, their projects and goals and do your part to make their jobs easier. If you know they have a big meeting coming up, try to pull the information they’ll need for their presentation or getting routine tasks done early without having to be asked. Showing your boss that you understand them will prove how reliable and trustworthy you are – also it’s hard to let go of someone who practically reads your mind.


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Talk to them as a person. Remember, your boss is human too! Every conversation you have with them doesn’t have to be work related. You’ll never develop trust and a healthy working relationship if you can’t be yourself around your boss. Don’t think that pointless small talk is cutting it, take a real interest in what they do for fun and how his/her family is doing. Once you can talk openly about real life experiences and not just what happens in the office, you’ll feel more comfortable expressing yourself at work.


Share your goals. Your meetings with your manager should be about what projects you have and what goals you have set for yourself. A good manager will always be concerned about what you want to learn and what future you see for yourself. Create a development plan for yourself and ask your boss to help you reach your professional goals. Studies show the majority of employees would rather companies invest in their development instead of creating a fun work environment. If people don’t know your goals, they can’t help you reach them.

Ask for feedback. Show your boss you want to do your best and improve by asking for feedback after you complete projects and presentations. You don’t always know what you need to improve on and while you may think you’re great at something, others can see things differently. Be open to constructive criticism and make an effort to improve your work. This will help your relationship with your boss because they’ll see you stepping up and taking control of your career. Good managers want to see you grow but no one is going to tell you to get serious about your career.


What steps have you taken to strengthen the relationship between you and your boss?