7 Simple Steps to Get Your Boss to Like You

By Oliver Hurcum on 03-10-2017
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Having a good relationship with your boss just makes life a whole lot easier. It’s easier to get a bonus or promotion. It’s easier to get a letter of recommendation. It’s easier to get some necessary time off. It’s easier to recover if you make a mistake.

So, in the interest of making your life that much easier, here are seven simple steps to get your boss to like you:

1.   Be Good at Your Job

It’s obvious, but it’s so important. If your boss thinks highly of your abilities, they will start to think highly of you personally. What sets aside those who are good at their job from those who are merely competent?

Good workers take the time to  solve problems on their own. Bringing your boss’ attention to difficulties that, with a little thought, can be easily resolved will leave them doubting your ability to take initiative. Only raise issues with your boss once you’ve seriously attempted to sort them out yourself.

Good workers are also productive workers. They prioritise effectively and complete tasks efficiently. There are a number of ways you can  boost your productivity, from exercising regularly to using concentration apps such as FocusWriter or Forest.

Finally, good workers deliver the goods. They do what they say they will do. If you’ve promised to have that report done by Friday, then have that report done by Friday. Show your boss you’re a safe pair of hands.


2.   Get To Work (A Little) Early

It’s often advised to arrive in the office before your boss, but this isn’t always a realistic option. What you can do, though, is make sure you consistently arrive ten minutes or so before you’re due to start your shift.

This achieves a few things. First, it makes it less likely you’ll arrive late (which is never good) and, if you’re ever unlucky enough not to make it in on time, your reputation as an early bird will work in your favour.

Second, it gives you an opportunity to organise and prepare for the day ahead. Third, it showcases your commitment and reliability. It proves to your boss that they can count on you to be there.

3.   Let Them Know When You’re Leaving

Just as it’s not always possible to arrive before your boss, it’s not always possible to  leave after your boss. However, if you’re going to leave before they do, let them know.

Think of this from your boss’ perspective. You have a job that needs doing and you know just the right person. You go out into the office only to find that they’ve disappeared. You don’t know when they’ve left, you’ve wasted time looking for them, and now you need to delegate to someone else.

If they had only taken the time to say goodbye, you could have handed the job over to them then and you wouldn’t be worrying about them going missing when you needed them. Besides, saying goodbye is just good manners.

4.   Make Tea/Coffee for The Team

Making someone a hot drink is one of the easiest ways to get them to like you. There is, however, a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Just offering to make your boss a cup of tea or coffee will mark you out as a bit of a kiss-up and may alienate you from the rest of the team. What’s more, your boss will doubtless see through such a transparent attempt at getting ahead.

If, on the other hand, you offer to make tea for everyone, your boss included, you’re less likely to be suspected of ulterior motives. It’s also important to avoid seeking credit. Instead of telling your boss “I’m making tea for everyone”, try “We’re all having tea, would you like one?”.

5.   Maintain Polite but Friendly Correspondence

Your boss will of course set the tone for your correspondence – don’t go replying to a very formal email in a casual manner!

However, whatever the level of formality, there is always opportunity to go a little out of your way to be friendly. Wish them a good weekend. Sign off with ‘All the very best’ or ‘Best wishes’ . Keep it polite, professional, but also personable.

6.   Take Responsibility, Don’t Make Excuses

Every now and then things just don’t go according to plan. Even if the failure is due to something outside of your control, it’s important to  take responsibility and apologise rather than make excuses or allocate blame.

If it’s a really big mess, your boss will ask you why things went wrong and that’s your opportunity to offer an explanation. For small mistakes, just take the hit and move on. People don’t earn respect by trying to pass the buck.

7.   Use Scotty’s Principle

This is a sneaky little technique that can work wonders. Reckon it’ll take you two hours to prepare that presentation? Tell your boss it will take you four. Now, if you get it done in three, you’re an hour early rather than an hour late!

In general, always overestimate how long a task is going to take you. It works for Scotty. However, a word of warning. If your boss finds out that you’re predicting five hours for a job that really should only take twenty minutes, your reputation as an efficient worker may come rapidly to an end.

For more advice on how to build a good relationship with your boss, check out this helpful article from Lifehacker.

Oliver Hurcum writes for Inspiring Interns, which helps career starters find the perfect job, in everything from sales jobs to marketing internships. To browse their graduate jobs London listings, visit their website.

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