Let’s say you have dreams of succeeding big time in your new job. You might be motivated and you might be working hard. Perhaps you may think that you’re doing a great job, and are capable of moving ahead in the organization.
That’s all great. But we must also remember that aside from our own interests and self-evaluation, there is something else that matters: what the boss thinks.
Now, even if you’re an entrepreneur who isn’t reporting into anyone, you still have a boss: the customer. So it’s tough to get away from the concept of having a person or people who need to be impressed by what we have to offer. Having said that though, let’s go back for now to the paradigm of working within a company or organization where you ultimately report into somebody on some level.
You may be working extensively with a variety of stakeholders, and might even feel like you’re impressing your boss’s boss. But ultimately, the person to whom you report into can really influence the perception of you within an organization, and will be the one reviewing you. If we don’t get along with this person, stress could potentially be added to day-to-day life. So we need to create a favorable perception.
With that in mind, here are 6 simple ways to impress the boss:
1) Understand your boss’s motivations
What motivates your boss? What contcerns him (I say him for convenience, but of course it could be “her” too)? Demonstrating an understanding of what the boss truly thinks is important is a good way to earn his trust. I’ve been able to tell the difference when someone has been able to hold his/her own in a conversation and “get” what we are really trying to accomplish with a project or initiative. When an employee thinks beyond the immediate job description and works to understand what the boss is really focused on, it’s a great way to build credibility.
2) Beat deadlines
If you have a certain deadline to meet, try to beat it. This isn’t always possible, but proving that you can take a given time frame to complete something and get it done ahead of time can show your boss that you can be trusted and counted on.
Find a way to do more than what is expected. For people who exceed expectations – which is often a path to promotional consideration – simply doing the required work is only part of the story. Being able to do what’s expected, and then offer up even more, is a way to show that you’re capable of higher level work. Now, that next position up may involve different skill sets (worker vs. people manager, for example), so part of over-delivering might be finding ways to show that you can take that step.
I’m finding that more and more, the ability to be innovative is being increasingly valued by employers. I base this on my own experience as well what I read and what I hear from others within different industries. If you can break out of the mold and think of different ways to improve business, you stand a better chance of making a great impression. It’s those value-added projects that go beyond the normal functional job description that can set somebody apart.
5) Communicate Well – and don’t hide bad news
Being able to effectively communicate is essential in most workplaces. This includes keeping your boss updated on important projects, tasks, customers, or whatever might be salient to your line of work. Often times, we must be able to communicate “bad” news, or at least make sure that the boss is aware of any roadblocks or issues you may be facing. What you don’t want to do is to surprise him with issues when they become problematic. Rather, by keeping him appraised of things, you can be seen as straightforward, reliable, and trustworthy. All important traits in the eyes of a boss.
6) Be respectful, and try to “like” the boss
I don’t mean that we should like the boss as in liking him on Facebook! Rather, show the boss that you can get along with him and respect him – along with his position. This doesn’t have to reach the level of kissing up or losing self-respect. Just do it at a basic, professional level to be sure. It’s human nature that we often like the people that like us. If you work to have a friendly vibe with the boss, it can only help. If you detest the boss (I have had one or two horrendous ones), try not to let it show, and work hard to see the positives while at work. Vent about them and blast away at home 🙂
Overall, there are myriad ways we can impress the boss, and help our own cause. I’m sure you can think of other approaches that have also worked for you as well as others. Having said that, I think that these 6 above are good ones to incorporate as a foundation for success at work and with performance reviews, promotions, and your professional reputation.
My Questions for You
What do you think of these 6 ways to impress the boss?
Have you tried to incorporate these into your own efforts on the job?
What other recommendations do you have? I know there are probably many, so please feel free to add to this list by sharing other ideas that you believe are effective.