How to handle your Boss.

I had a colleague, who was an average performer but with an excellent presentation skill. And above all, he had an excellent relationship building skill, as per himself. He had maintained a great relationship with all his bosses, current and ex. I was curious to know the secret. He revealed “Right Compliment. You just need to know what is a right compliment for your boss on each event and you will be happy always.” I was wondering if this can be called “Buttering”. But he was able to handle his boss. This may be a personal choice, but can’t be said a professional & appreciable way. And many professional would not be adopting this method.

You don’t choose your boss but your boss (or company) choose you. And you cannot change company always if you don’t find a right boss for you. More importantly, your boss is being judged by you on basis of your expectations and not on the real need. When management has placed him in his position then they must have a plan and expectation for that role and he needs to adhere that plan. So his actions may not be in line with your expectations and you may feel odd in resultant. Also, individual’s personality attributes are not always compatible with each other, so on personal points, the preferences may be different.

So, How to handle your boss? No No.. We are not going to tell you any magic spell which will make your professional life very pleasant. But by this blog, we intend to provide you guidance over expectation and fulfillment of expectation which will help you in handling your boss. If your Boss is happy with you then you will lead a great professional life.

We may classify bosses into three categories for an understanding of the expectations: Active, Passive and Silent. All these types of bosses have different expectations from you and if you are able to identify then you can act accordingly to handle them. Whether it is a matter of your promotion or daily reporting, you need the support of your boss. And to justify their positions, your boss needs your support. It is a mutual deal. But if expectations are not clear then you cannot reach this mutual deal.

Active Bosses:

Personality Attribute: They are actually leaders. Owning a responsibility and delivering it, is a prime target for them. They are focused on what management wants from them to deliver and at the same time, they respect their team as well. In case of any issue with any team member, they themselves take a lead to resolve with the stakeholders. They prefer to have regular and positive communication with their team. They usually don’t touch personal issue and points, but they keep it on the positive node for discussion, only if it hinders your performance.

How to identify them: In the very first week of interaction, they will talk more about your achievements and strong skills. They will review your work with neutral stand, neither very positive nor very negative. They will be interested in “How” and will inquire if you are clear about “What”. Will talk least about the ex-boss.

What are their expectations: They want you to be clear about your responsibilities. You cannot achieve every goal, and they know it, but they want you to put genuine efforts which should be visible. You are also expected to raise your issues clearly and at the right time so that hurdles in your work can be removed at earliest. But before raising issue, you must have tried at your level and when raising the flag, you should be clear about stakeholders and expectations from them.

How to handle your Boss: Such bosses, can be made happy only with the performance-driven approach and clear communication. Put your efforts to turn your work in performance and have clear and regular communication with your boss.

Passive Bosses:

Personality Attribute: Such bosses, majorly act as traffic diverter. They know about the management’s expectation from them but totally rely on the team and its performance. They want to control team. In case of issues, they want you to talk to stakeholders and mark them in copy so that at a later stage a master’s comment can be put. They are interested in digging into your personal life and don’t feel odd in discussing with others as well.

How to identify them: In the very first week of interaction, they will talk more about what has been done so far and what was the target. Interested in “Why” and major highlights. Will dig you to know the past and ex-boss, but may not be directly asking. In most of the cases, they will instruct you to mark them in a copy of all important emails (to have a better control over you).

What are their expectations: They are just number seeker. If you can perform well then you are shining star (also if you can satisfy their ego). They want you to be totally engaged in your job and if required spend extra time on your work.

How to handle your Boss: You should be maintaining good relationships with other stakeholders in the company, they may affect your performance. In case of issue (which is a regular affair), they will help you a lot. You need to engage your boss in all important cases by making it their point of reputation (by highlighting the mails to top management as well). Talk less about personal points but don’t ignore the discussion. Try to have personal discussion time with your boss (No. It is not buttering), preferably after office hours.

Silent Bosses:

Personality Attribute: Silent Bosses, as the name suggests they are silent most of the time. They act as shock absorber. They don’t have a clear idea of management’s expectation from them and faces all the heat. Usually, they are very friendly in nature. They don’t take a dig into your personal life but keep you so comfortable that you yourself open up. They try to highlight your issues to other stakeholders but end with no solution. They aren’t aggressive on the team as well. The team’s performance saves their job.

How to identify them: In the very first week of interaction, they are least focused on “How”, “Why” and “What” but they are more focused on knowing the team. They want teams to input on how to do the target. Sometimes it appears to be a good team engagement but it is only input mode. The strategy to achieve target is made on basis of inputs only and not on the experience and knowledge of the business domain. For the team, it is a good feeling.

What are their expectations: They don’t expect much. A good effort and positive ambiance are what they expect. The only expectation which can be highlighted is to work honestly. They prefer an honest worker over shrewd performer.

How to handle your Boss: This kind of bosses aren’t good for your career. They will not be able to do good for you even if they wish. To handle such boss you need to maintain a good relationship with next superior without saying anything against your boss. And with your boss, you need to be friendly. You also need to be self-motivated and action-driven by your own growth.


There is one clear fact is that you are hired to fulfill your responsibilities and there is not an alternate way to survive in your job. But there are many things which are dependent on your boss and it is strongly recommended to maintain a good relationship with your boss.


Post Author: SimplyVedant

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