Your relationship with your boss can make or break your time at work. Regardless of whether you are a boss or an employee, it’s never too late to try to fix a bad relationship and make working together more pleasurable for both of you.
Today we’re going to share some of the best ways to improve a bad boss and employee relationship and create a more supportive work environment.
start with why
by Simon Sinek
⏱ 14 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Acknowledge That There is a Problem
Many of us pretend a problem doesn’t exist, with the hope of it going away at some point. However, if you know there is an issue with your boss’s relationship, it’s best to just admit it to yourself.
It would be best to start by acknowledging your role in this issue and whether there is anything you can do to improve the relationship or make amends for whatever happened in the past. This will make it easier to have an initial conversation with your boss to foster a better relationship moving forward.
Try to Understand Each Other
Do you know much about your boss’s working style? If you’ve not taken the time to understand when your boss prefers to meet or how they work, then it’s time to think about it. First, please pay attention to which team members your boss works well with and understand their working style.
Then, discuss the communication style your boss prefers with another team member and learn precisely what they expect from their employees. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to know how your boss likes to work and interact with their team members, you’ll find yourself equipped with the tools you need to get ahead.
It can be so easy to judge individuals in management roles in businesses, but everyone has struggled at work. We don’t always know what goes on behind the scenes with our managers. They may be under a lot of pressure from their bosses.
If you think your boss is having a bad day, try to leave them to it, as we all have ups and downs in our lives. Instead of reacting from a place of judgment, empathize with other people to foster better relationships.
Listen to Feedback
As both a boss and an employee, it’s essential to be willing to listen to feedback. Of course, we aren’t always going to agree with the feedback we receive, but we should still learn to accept it professionally. Managers also need to be willing to listen to their team members, as they may have excellent suggestions for improving work processes.
Don’t assume that feedback will always be negative, as you may find that the other person is willing to praise you for your hard work. You’ll also learn so much by listening, which will help push you ahead later in your career.
Resolve Conflicts Quickly
When conflicts aren’t resolved immediately, tension will build. If you find yourself in a challenging situation with your boss or employee, discuss how you feel and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
While you may feel hurt by something that was said or an event that took place, remember that you need to act professionally in the workplace and put your feelings aside. Conflict is a natural part of life when you work so closely with someone daily, but learning to understand how you react to different situations will make it easier for you to move past these conflicts and focus on the essential things.
Set Up Regular Meetings
For anyone looking to improve a working relationship, we encourage you to set up regular meetings with your boss.
Unfortunately, many managers are far too busy to think about adding extra meetings into their schedule, but when you ask to connect monthly, they’ll be happy that you are willing to put time aside to communicate with them.
During these meetings, ask for feedback about how you are performing currently and be willing to accept any feedback you are given. It’s a great way to build a connection with your boss, and you’ll learn more about each other from both a professional and personal perspective.
Just because you need to act professionally at work, it doesn’t mean that you should hide your true self from your boss. When you are open with your boss, you’ll likely find you have some aspects of your personal life in common.
This will give you a good starting point to build your relationship. The same goes for anyone in a managerial position, as your employees will appreciate seeing you as more than just a supervisor.
Especially during the past year, many of us have found ourselves working from home, which has been an excellent equalizer in some ways. When everyone is going through a challenging time, we are all in the same situation, so use this to connect with your boss or employee.
A lousy boss and employee relationship can make working together every day feel like a chore. But, whether you are the boss or the employee, you can follow the above advice to clear the air and build a better relationship.
It’s not too late to change your working relationships, and you’ll find that work becomes much more enjoyable and you are more productive when you aren’t dealing with unnecessary tension. We hope these tips will help you work on your relationships and create a better working environment for everyone in your office.
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