This post is all about ways to get your boss loving you...in a platonic sense. That is to say, if you want your boss to appreciate, respect, value, and simply like you more, this article is for you. If however you’re looking for ways to get your boss to fall in love with you romantically, you’re looking for a completely different post altogether.
Often people are afraid to ask their boss questions, especially when they are new to a company or have a low standing in the company hierarchy. Not wanting to come across as ignorant, feeling they are wasting their boss’ time, and fear of humiliation amongst their peers are all common reasons that prevent constructive questioning. However, it is also common for bosses to misinterpret this absence of questioning as lack of interest, lack of confidence, or even arrogance.
No good boss expects those below them to know everything and most will encourage, if not request, that employees ask as many questions as possible. Asking sensible and insightful questions is not only a great way to demonstrate enthusiasm, but most people are flattered to be asked as it infers that you respect their opinion and see them as a source of knowledge. Now what boss wouldn’t love you for a bit of indirect flattery?
Don’t Kiss Ass
Whilst a bit of subtle ego massaging can work wonders for your relationship with your boss, it is very important you don’t cross the line and become one of those brown-nosing suck-ups that everyone in the company learns to despise. Your boss is not stupid, in fact the chances are they are more intelligent than you are and will see straight through your incessant praising of their actions and sickly forced smile that springs to life whenever they are around. Not only will kissing ass alienate you from your boss, but it will also alienate you from your peers, and this pretty much spells the end for your career in the company.
Many bosses will respect you more if you don’t just agree with everything they say and instead give your honest, heart-felt opinions when asked. Just don’t go too far the other way and start openly criticising them or ignoring what they say in order to display your indifference to their stature, as this won’t go down well either.
It might seem an odd bit of advice to praise other people in the company in front of your boss in order to win their love, but as American TV host Brian Tracy once eloquently said, “The more credit you give away, the more will come back to you. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.” By praising the work of those around you, you will not only come across as humble, appreciative, and a team player, but those compliments will find their way to those you have spoken about, one way or another. This will make them very happy and will likely lead to them complimenting your work more frequently to the boss also.
Bosses like hearing good news as well, and if everyone is the company is appreciating each other’s work and praising that work openly, everyone will receive a little bit more of their boss’ love. No one ever said that in order for your boss to love you more, they must love everyone around you less.
This next point is arguably the most valuable in the whole post, so listen carefully:
Whenever and wherever possible, be accountable for your actions, no matter how small they may be.
Now this does not mean you should bust a lung trying to make your boss aware of every positive thing that you have done, but instead take ownership of any oversights or negative occurrences that happen whilst you have been involved in the work.
People’s natural reaction when something goes wrong is to find blame in others. This might be a natural ‘self-preservation’ reaction, but it drives bosses crazy and they will not love you for it. Believe it or not bosses are not interested in problems as they are bound to happen now and again, but they are very much interested in solutions. If you pin the blame on someone else, you immediately relinquish control of the situation and will become worthless in your bosses eyes. To use a sporting metaphor –
The football player who blames the referee, the pitch conditions or the weather for their bad performance cannot improve because they cannot influence these factors. However, the player who appreciates that it was their lack of mental focus, fitness, practice and communication with their team mates that led to their poor performance...now this player is empowered to do everything to improve.
Blame has a habit of finding the true person responsible in the end anyway, and so one of the most effective ways of gaining the love of your boss is to be the bigger man (or women), put your hands up and take accountability, then go about being your boss’ problem-solver and put the issue right.