How To Make A Good Impression With Your Manager
Every manager and every workplace is different, but generally, the best way to get your boss to like you is to do great work. Alternatively, here are some simple strategies you can become their favourite employee. Business Insider looked into scientific research and expert opinion and came up with 10 tricks to help you wow the higher-ups.
Always demonstrate your value to the company
Your boss doesn’t need to hear about how you want a promotion because you want a more prestigious title. If you’re asking for anything a title bump, a raise, or more responsibility show how it will benefit your boss and the organization as a whole. Sometimes it’s not enough to do great work. If you want your boss to love you, you’ll have to demonstrate how you’re critical to their personal success and the companies.
Tweak your communication style to match theirs
Again, part of your job is to make your boss’ job easier. As professor Michael Watkins told the Harvard Business Review, it’s on you to find out early on how your manager prefers to communicate. Is it Slack? Email? Face-to-face conversations? And how often should you check-in? If there’s a mismatch between your style and your boss’ style, for example, one of you prefers to check in more often it’s important to have an open conversation about that.
Ask for advice
You might be nervous about asking your boss anything whether it’s how they got to this point in their career or which marketing strategy they think you should go with. Research from Harvard Business School suggests that asking for advice doesn’t make you look stupid it can have the opposite effect and make you seem more competent, which is presumably how you want your boss to see you. Remember, too: It’s better to ask for their advice than their opinion. As psychologist Robert Cialdini previously told Business Insider, asking for advice creates a partnership between you and your boss and encourages them to be more supportive of your idea. On the other hand, when you ask for their opinion, they take a step back and become more of an objective evaluator.
Get to work early
Research from the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington suggests that employees who get into the office early are generally perceived by their managers as more conscientious and receive higher performance ratings than employees who arrive later. And it doesn’t matter if those who get in later stay later, too. If you feel that you’d be more productive working from, say, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., consider explaining the situation to your manager and confronting their potential “morning bias” head-on.
Leadership-development consultancy Zenger/Folkman spent more than five years collecting upward of 50,000 360-degree evaluations on more than 4,000 individual employees. According to their findings, there’s one behaviour that can make employees stand out (to their boss and the rest of their coworkers): Setting stretch goals.
In other words, Zenger/Folkman execs write in The Harvard Business Review, top employees “set and met stretch goals that went beyond what others thought were possible.” Interestingly, most people didn’t realize that high goals were so important, suggesting that setting stretch goals is meaningful because it’s not expected.
Pay attention to detail
If you consider yourself more of a big-picture person, you’d best start attending smaller stuff. Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, wrote in a LinkedIn post that at his company, “even what seems like a small technical glitch can end up affecting a lot of clients in a short period of time. An employee who can be trusted to catch such small errors truly begins to stand out among the crowd.
Take a vacation
According to an analysis by Oxford Economics for Project: Time Off, workers who take all their vacation time are 6.5% more likely to get a promotion or a raise than those who leave over at least 11 days of paid vacation time. Of course, that doesn’t mean taking a vacation directly causes you to get a promotion it could be the case that better workers feel they’re more entitled to a vacation.
But as Shawn Achor, author and CEO of GoodThink, Inc., writes in The Harvard Business Review, these findings do suggest that working yourself to death doesn’t necessarily lead to success. “The extra face time doesn’t help you,” Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off told The Boston Globe. “There’s something to this ‘refreshed thinking,’ too. Vacations allow you to be more creative.'” It’s hard to imagine that your boss wouldn’t appreciate your increased creativity post-break.
Don’t hide your opinions from your coworkers. Jenna Lyons, president and executive creative director of J. Crew Group Inc., told Motto that she advises people to share their perspectives: “I find it impossible to understand where a person stands if they don’t join the conversation.” Don’t be afraid of looking stupid, either. As Lyons said, you should “never be afraid to pitch an idea; we all have good ones, and we all have bad ones.”