First a disclaimer–these FabYOUlous tips will not do you any good if your work ethic is in the toilet. It doesn’t matter how well you and your boss get along–if you do sloppy work or have a lazy attitude, you will get fired or (if you are very, very lucky) passed over when it comes time for promotions. These tactics are meant to help you strengthen the professional connection between you and your boss–they are not distraction techniques designed to help cover up the fact that you suck at your job.
If however; you are a competent and engaged employee, these strategies can help to improve your relationship with your boss which can lead to greater opportunities for career growth. The best thing about these tactics is that they are subtle. So subtle in fact that they are actually non-verbal. You don’t have to say a word to start endearing yourself to your supervisor but if you start implementing these strategies today, you’ll be setting the stage for a FabYOUlous career tomorrow.
4 Simple Strategies for Building a FabYOUlous Rapport with Your Boss
1.) Keep it real. Sure–life is easier when everyone agrees. If your boss makes a statement that you agree with, nod and smile to show that you are engaged and on the same page. DO NOT however nod and smile at everything your boss says. No one likes a suck up– not even bosses. Authenticity is what bosses want. If you agree with them on everything and nod your head like a dimwitted bobble-head every time they say something, you’ll lose credibility. Instead, be respectfully genuine. If you are confused about something, scrunch your brows. If you are enthused, smile and let your excitement shine through your eyes. Letting your true response show through your facial expressions is a subtle way to communicate your authenticity to your boss.
2.) Fake it…sometimes. Yes, I know…I just told you to be authentic. However; if you genuinely do not like your boss or you have no respect for their position–you probably do not want to convey that sentiment to them…especially if you need to keep your job. Rather than conveying animosity or disdain, try imagining that your boss is a dear friend that you haven’t seen in a long time. This exercise will trick your mind and cause you to relax your posture and soften your facial features thus making you appear more approachable and agreeable. Then, once you have this technique mastered–start searching for another job because no one should have to “fake it” for days on end.
3.) Mirror your company’s communication style. Giving your boss a kiss on the cheek or a high-five when he/she was expecting a formal handshake can be a little (okay maybe a lot) awkward. Air kisses may be fine if you’re French (because let’s face it–who doesn’t like to be air kissed by a French person?) but probably not if you’re in a boardroom with your professional colleagues. Every business has a culture of its own and within that culture exists an unwritten rule about its communication style. Maybe your office is more informal so high-fives and fist-bumps are the norm. If that’s the case–fine, high-five it up. It is best to wait however; until you have a real feel for your company’s culture before you engage in such boisterous methods of communication; and even if you do work in a more casual environment, it might still be best to save your fist-bumps for your peers rather than your boss. If you aren’t sure what type of communication is appropriate to engage in with your supervisor, let him/her take the lead and then mirror his/her communication style back.
4.) Engage in active listening. Bosses want to be heard and as supervisors, they’ve earned that right. One of the best ways to gain favor in the eyes of your boss is to show that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. To do this, it is crucial that you learn the art of active listening. Now, just because it’s called active listening, does not mean that you are supposed to be active while you do it. No fiddling with you cell phone or fidgeting with the button on your jacket allowed. Instead, active listening simply means engaged listening. Show your boss that you are an attentive listener who is ready to respond to or act upon what he/she is saying. Relax your facial and upper body muscles so that you convey a sense of interested ease. Be sure not to overstretch the head and neck as this can give off an impression of dominance or condemnation.
Again, these techniques are no substitute for doing quality work on a consistent basis, but if you add them to your already FabYOUlous work results, your boss is sure to take note which can be FabYOUlous news for your professional life.