Your boss is a delicate individual. The amount of ideas, issues and thoughts running through their head is staggering. All of these concepts need to be synthesized into some sort of tangible plan. Interrupt that synthesize and your boss will go crazy. Challenge that synthesis and your boss might just lose it. Don’t get me wrong. There is always a time and a place to challenge your bosses direction or decisions. The dilemma lies in knowing when and where to do it while not driving them crazy in the process.
Bosses Hate Surprises
One of the universal truths of management is that bosses hate to be surprised. Nothing irritates a boss like being out of the loop on some important development. You should always let your boss know about any sort of issue or new development preferably before anyone else knows about it. This will allow your boss to think about the implications and formulate a plan.
Never surprise your boss in front of a group of peers or even his boss. This could embarrass them and you as well.
Attitude is Everything
Your boss has enough on his plate to have to worry about adjusting everyones attitude. Make sure to keep an upbeat, positive attitude towards your workplace, even when things are going wrong. You don’t have to be foolish or ignorant of problems — just don’t approach them in a negative way. Things happen. Schedules slip. Products break. All of these things are just part of working and should be fixed with a “can do” attitude.
People that are constantly negative will wear down their boss to the point where they will stop interacting with them. This is a bad sign and will negatively impact your ability to get ahead. Remember, bosses like positive, upbeat people that can change the world not negative people who think the worlds going to end.
Priorities Change, So Deal with It
One of the biggest frustrations is the shift in priority. This happens in every organization. Priorities change for a number of reasons and the reason really doesn’t matter. What matters is that your boss needs you to move in a different direction and that’s what you need to do. Sure, you can question a bad decision or complain that all this priority switching is making you less productive. Your boss understands that. What bosses can’t stand is the constant whine of employees that challenge every decision or direction. Remember, you are being paid to do what your boss tells you to do. Most likely, you don’t have all the information, so be cautious when you question a priority change.
Good bosses will explain why the priority change has occurred and that should be enough for you to move on. If it’s not, then you may need to go to your boss privately and constructively, explain your position. Most bosses will find this helpful and informative since deep down, they hate priority changes as much as you do.
Tender Care and Feeding for Maximum Harmony
I’m not saying that you can’t challenge assumptions, complain about priorities or sometimes surprise your boss. That’s not it at all. What I’m trying to convey is that the build up of these things will slowly marginalize you in your bosses eyes. This you need to avoid. Once your are marginalize, then promotions, new projects and more resources become scarce. Your work experience actually gets worst and your effectiveness will suffer.
Bosses are delicate individuals — just like all of us. To ensure that you don’t drive your boss crazy, make sure to have no surprises, graciously deal with priority changes and project a positive attitude.