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Build a Strong Relationship With Your Boss This Year With These 8 Strategies (You Don’t Have to Be BFFs)

Building a strong relationship with your boss means that you must have good communication.

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Building a strong relationship with your boss means that you must have good communication.

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Building a strong relationship with someone’s boss is crucial to their performance, progress and ultimately their career. In more ways than one, the company also benefits immensely when there’s a cordial relationship between the management and the employees.

Currently, in the English Premier League, Manchester City is reigning as king. Why? They have mastered the art of working as a unit, seamlessly. They complement each other’s strengths. Most importantly, the players have a good understanding of their manager, Pep Guardiola. The communication lines are clear and the manager’s expectations are well met. As such they have been on an unbeaten run for more than 11 games.

That’s just an example to prove how important a strong relationship is between a senior and their juniors. A frosty relationship however makes the individuals lag and the company as a whole suffers drawbacks.

Going back to football just a little bit. On the other side of the city of Manchester, we have the famous Manchester United which has been posting poor results for quite a while now. They look like a shell of their former glory when they used to win titles. Prodding a little further I discovered that there’s a huge disconnect between players and the current interim manager Ralf Ragnick.

Before we delve into how you can build a strong relationship with your boss, here are the benefits of you and your boss being in a good working relationship.

  • Motivation

When you and your manager have a cordial relationship, it motivates you to do better and work harder. You don’t have to psych yourself up and give yourself pep talks to go to work. Knowing that you have a supportive manager and have figured the dynamics of your relationship well, will make work easier and more enjoyable.


  • Constant improvement when you have a strong relationship with your boss

Building a strong relationship with your supervisor means that you must have good communication. With good communication comes constructive feedback. When your boss shows you things you need to work on and you adhere, your performance improves. As a result, the way you handle responsibilities and tasks keeps getting better as the days go by.


  • Career progression

If you’re doing well and working hard, you can bet that they will talk about you at the top management level. When there are promotions, you’ll be among the first to be considered. If there are big assignments that involve travelling abroad or handling big money, your boss will have no qualms entrusting them to you.


  • A powerful network

When you’re a trusted colleague and employee, your name helps you build strong relationships with your boss, colleagues, leaders and clients. That way you have a strong network around you because of the cordial relationships you have built.


The following tips will help you build a strong working relationship with your boss

1. Master the basics

If you just occupied a new role, take time to learn the basics of your role and master them with near perfection. Follow the instructions that your boss gives you and execute with excellence. Do this before offering suggestions on how things can be made better.

2. Use personal communication

Your boss is a human and they do have a life outside work. Therefore, you should also ask them how their weekend was and how their family is doing. You shouldn’t be overfamiliar and don’t cross the boundaries of respect.

When you show that you care about your boss’s welfare and life outside work it eases communication between you two and gives your relationship a power boost.

3. Show initiative

You don’t have to be asked to deliver on deadlines. Instead of doing the bare minimum just to hit your numbers, show that you can exceed the expectations of your seniors. Now you can even offer suggestions and ideas to your boss. If they give you the go-ahead, show leadership.

One day my boss told me that he hates asking for information about how a trip to the field went. He said that volunteering the report and highlighting the challenges I faced during those field excursions shows leadership.

4. Develop an independent mind

Career coach Robert Half writes that you should be prepared to think independently. You should not always be a yes man or woman. It also doesn’t mean that you should be disrespectful but you can also show that you have an independent mind.

If you identify weaknesses with the idea/strategy your boss has fronted, carefully and humbly highlight them. First of all, you are a professional, therefore identifying potential weaknesses and offering solutions is part of your portfolio. Secondly, think of how it would go if the strategy flops and you knew you could have averted the failure.

When you show your boss that you have the capacity to cover them, they can trust you more even with other projects they intend to embark on.

5. To build a strong relationship with your boss, go the extra mile

Think about doing more than you are asked and even put in the effort to achieve more stellar results than what your supervisor expects. If you have to work outside the office hours or even help a struggling colleague do that.

Your manager is concerned about the success of your team. When they know that they can always rely on you, it will give birth to a very cordial fruitful relationship. Career coaches at Centonomy say that you should ensure that your seniors notice when you go over and above your responsibilities and “make noise” about it. It helps boost your visibility and ultimately strengthens your relationship with your bosses.

6. Be respectful and loyal

You should never let familiarity spoil your cordial relationship with your employer. If your boss likes to run things and manage casually, you must always remember that they are senior to you. Therefore, accord them respect by responding honorably and also airing your grievances in private and with discretion.

If you get an opportunity to work in a different company, don’t burn bridges. Schedule a meeting with your boss and inform them of your decision. If you manage to build a strong relationship with your boss over time, they will offer you counter offers or become influential referees who enrich your portfolio.

If you need to meet your supervisor, use the right channels to schedule a meeting. Don’t meet them as they walk casually and to meet them. Write an email asking to meet them. This shows you respect their time.

7. Always post results to build a strong relationship with your boss

At the end of the day, your manager is interested in getting results. If you maintain a healthy, diligent and good work ethic then positive results are inevitable. This will help you gain the trust and confidence of your boss.

When there are new projects and exciting ideas in the company, they’ll be more than happy to recommend you for them or entrust you to handle them expeditiously.

8. Ask for feedback

It’s always helpful and important to understand what your boss thinks about your work. Schedule a proper feedback meeting with specific agendas so that it can be efficient. To your supervisor, it proves that you’re a forward thinker and you are concerned about your promotion.

When you receive recommendations, implement them in your next project so that you can prove that you value the guidance given to you by your superiors.


Intentionality is at the heart of a strong relationship with your boss

Building a strong relationship with your boss needs you to be determined, conscious and intentional. When you establish that strong working relationship, the benefits are endless. On the other hand, a frosty relationship with your supervisor could make your work very difficult and exhausting. Be humble and do what it takes to have a cordial relationship with your boss.

Written by

Wahome Ngatia

Peter Wahome Ngatia is an all rounded Marketing Specialist who deals in Graphic Design, Social Media, SEO and Content Writing. My passion is to use my skills and knowledge to help African businesses grow and thrive so that we can create employment for the youth. I also want to churn helpful content that inspires millennials to go hard after their dreams. Mantra: You learn more from failure than success.

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