Every work day brings another challenge to our productivity. While many of the things that slow us down come from our own brains, sometimes it’s the outside world that’s holding us back.
If you’ve ever had to work with someone who’s lazy, uninspiring, or just not very good at their job, then you know how frustrating the office environment can be. And, it can be especially frustrating if that person is your boss.
Bad management can cause all sorts of problems that stop you from getting things done. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel. But don’t give up just yet!
There are plenty of strategies you can use to keep things on track. Here are seven simple tips you can use to for a more productive relationship with your boss.
- Help, Don’t Hinder (Even If You Hate Them)
Sometimes we’re so focused on complaining about what’s wrong, it can be hard to step back and see the bigger picture. Remember that you’re part of a team. Even if you want your boss to fail, it will never be in your best interest. Sabotaging projects or pointing out your boss’s mistakes to others can be counterproductive, and even harm your career.
Instead, work to understand your boss’s weaknesses and mitigate them where possible. If your boss is disorganized, then get organized. If your boss is a bad communicator, then work to get their message out effectively.
Taking simple steps like these can not only give you a more productive working relationship, but lay a solid foundation for your own future success.
- Try and Understand Their Core Values
When we’ve had a negative experience with someone, we can be quick to judge, and even jump to conclusions about their motivations. But the truth is often a little more complicated.
Understanding where your boss is coming from can assist you see the world through their eyes, and help you make sense of their actions. In addition, framing your opinions in relation to your boss’s core values may reduce conflict and miscommunication, and help you achieve a more productive relationship.
- Be the Change You Want to See
When others around us behave badly, there can be a temptation to be bad ourselves. Instead of slacking off, complaining, or checking out, rise above the situation and work hard at being your best self.
Using your boss as an excuse to avoid your own responsibilities will only harm you in the long run. And, when others in your team see you working hard, they might be inspired to pick up the pace themselves.
- Speak Up
It’s true that your boss has power over you, but they’re not a god or a dictator (even if they sometimes behave like one!). If you have concerns about your boss’s management style, don’t be afraid to speak up and let them know.
Never assume that your boss is knowingly ignoring your suffering, or intentionally making your job harder. If you remain silent, they may never realize how their actions are affecting you. Approaching them with an honest dialogue about how to make things better can bring your relationship to a whole new level of trust and honesty.
- Bend With the Wind, Don’t Break in the Storm
In order to achieve success, you need to learn how to adapt to range of different personality types and working styles. Just because you and your boss may seem incompatible at first glance is no reason to throw in the towel. Learning to adjust to challenging situations is all part of growing in your career, and in your life.
Instead of getting frustrated, ask your boss to take a test like the Myers Briggs test with you to reveal your working styles. It may be a challenge to find a way to work together, but it’s a learning experience that will bring great returns throughout your career.
- Explain Your Strengths
It can be disheartening when you feel you’re not being used to your full potential, or being put on projects that bore you. Not everyone has the ability to recognize natural talent, so sometimes you have to explain to your boss how to best make use of your skills.
Of course, we all have to occasionally take on tasks we don’t enjoy, but if you really feel you’re an untapped resource, tell your boss why! Don’t suffer in silence.
- Communication is Key
If there’s a disconnect between you and your boss, the first step in bridging the gap is open and honest communication. Be sure to give your boss a heads up if a problem is coming their way, and keep them in the loop about important developments in the organization.
Honest communication builds a foundation of trust that will help you work together more closely. A lack of communication will only breed suspicion and mistrust, which can not only affect your productivity, but potentially be harmful to your reputation.