$schemamarkup = get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), 'Schema', true); if(!empty($Schema)) { echo $ Schema ; } 5 Ways to Support Your Boss (Without Kissing Up

Karin’s Leadership Articles

5 Ways to Support Your Boss (Without Kissing Up)

by | Feb 13, 2013 | By Karin Hurt, Career & Learning, Communication |

Practical Approaches For a Better Boss Relationship

How do you support your boss without kissing up? In this article, I share five very practical approaches that will lead to a better relationship and less angst for both of you.

How to Build a Better Relationship With Your Boss-Without Kissing Up

I don’t know your boss.

She may be great. He may be a pain in the neck. He may be supportive. She may be a real witch.

I’ve been that boss. I’ve had all those bosses.

My guess is your boss also…

  • wants you to succeed
  • is dealing with pressures you don’t fully understand
  • sometimes feels overwhelmed
  • is trying to please a boss too
  • is working to balance work and family
  • wants to do the best she can
  • could use your help

There’s the age-old advice “always make your boss look good.” I find it also useful to make them feel good– reduce the stress by making their job a bit easier.

tools to support your boss in the Winning Well Tool Kit

5 Ways To Support Your Boss

1. Sweat the small stuff

Do what you say you will, without reminding. Get ahead of deadlines. Administrative work is a drag, your boss has better things to do than to chase down your paperwork.

2. Communicate frequently in bulleted summaries

Leaders often suffer from information overload. They are often called upon to summarize complex issues on the fly, that’s not when they want to go digging through emails. Resist the urge to cc and forward emails without a summary attached.

3. Uncover issues & address them

Your boss knows there are problems, shielding her from them will only make her nervous. Lift up the issues you are finding, along with the solutions to address them. She will sleep better knowing you are paying attention and are all over it.

4. Thank them for their help

Be honest and specific. Done well and privately this is not brown-nosing– it’s feedback that can help him help you. As a side benefit, they will grow as a leader because they’ll know what’s working.

You get more of what you encourage and celebrate and less of what you ignore.

5. Document your accomplishments

This is not bragging, it’s useful. Well-timed, detailed summaries help to support the performance management process.

See Also: How to Help Your Boss Give You a Better Performance Review

and… Avoid These Great Boss Mistakes

Like other good things in life, a great boss relationship, taken to extremes, can wreak havoc with your career. I’ve seen otherwise smart and talented people lose credibility by over-aligning with a great boss.

Be sure to diversify your relationship investments and avoid these common traps.

support your boss and avoid these mistakes

These five practical approaches are a great start to supporting your boss and helping them to help you.

Your turn. What would you add as #6?

See Also: Managing Your Boss: Get the Feedback You Need in 10 Minutes or Less (Includes Free Tool)

Managing Up: Keep Your Team Informed About a Struggling Team Member

Managing Up With Grace:  How to Give Your Boss Better Feedback (With Video)

Fast Company: Ten Common Excuses That Silently Damage Manager’s Careers

Managerial Courage: 7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I love this list! I have an employee who cannot bullet anything out. This person continues to write LONG emails to everyone even when encouraged to create a list with bullets or to use paragraphs and space between them. How do you help when someone just won’t respond to feedback?

    Reply
  2. letsgrowleaders

    Thanks so much. Long emails are a common challenge for sure. I learned this the hard way. Years ago I had a senior leader call me and say, Karin “I’m going to sort by your name and delete every email you have sent me. I suggest you summarize it all into 5 bullet points and send me what I really need to know in the next hour.” Great feedback. I sure heard it.

    The larger issue you raise here about helping people who won’t respond to feedback can be tricky. I would start with questions, and examples of exactly what you are looking for.

    So delighted to have you joining the Let’s Grow Leaders community and adding to the conversation.

    Reply
  3. Cindy

    Great words!! I always tried to anticipate the needs of my boss or bosses so that I could think beyond where they were. As you stated they don’t need to be involved in the administrative work (when I was an admin) That was what I was there for. Bosses that are comfortable in their own skin help achieve this dynamic by helping you see the big picture. That way you can truly see what is needed and why.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    This is a really good perspective! I need to share this next time I hear someone complaining about their boss!

    I’ve always kept one thing in mind in my career, “try make my boss look good”. Because of that, even when I’ve had “pain in the neck bosses”, I’ve almost always done well.

    Getting people to understand that they don’t know what their boss knows is tough sometimes, but it’s so true!

    Good stuff as usual!

    Reply
  5. Bob

    This is a really great perspective! I need to share this next time I hear someone complaining about their boss!

    I’ve always kept one thing in mind in my career, “try make my boss look good”. Because of that, even when I’ve had “pain in the neck bosses”, I’ve almost always done well.

    Getting people to understand that they don’t know what their boss knows is tough sometimes, but it’s so true!

    Good stuff as usual!

    Reply
  6. letsgrowleaders

    Cindy, thanks for joining the conversation. That’s a great add, anticipating needs. Also, yes the more you understand the big picture, the easier it is to help.

    Reply
  7. letsgrowleaders

    Bob, thanks for continuing to enhance the conversation. You raise an important issue… how do you coach to this and get people to understand the whole picture.

    Reply
  8. AJ

    I like this and definitely will share. I just heard someone complain about not being supported by their manager. My question (in my head) was what are you doing to support your manager.

    Reply
    • Karin Hurt

      Thanks so much AJ! All relationships go both ways, and mutual support makes all the difference. Thanks for expanding the conversation and sharing.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Virtual Leadership Training Programs

PRACTICAL LEADERSHIP TOOLS IN YOUR INBOX

Join the Let’s Grow Leaders community for free weekly leadership
insights, tools, and strategies you can use right away!

PRACTICAL LEADERSHIP TOOLS IN YOUR INBOX

Join the Let’s Grow Leaders community for free weekly leadership
insights, tools, and strategies you can use right away!

Where in the World are
Karin & David?

Where in the World are
Karin & David?

Other Related Articles