I’ve learned over the years that to grow within a company it helps to have someone in your corner. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked for some great bosses who became my mentors and in turn my biggest advocates. Just because you report to someone doesn’t necessarily mean that they will automatically mentor you or be your strongest supporter. Your boss is a human being too, not a robot. You have to earn all of that. Sometimes it surprises me why some employees constantly resist what their manager wants them to do or even worse, do the opposite of what the boss wants. Unless you’re at the pinnacle of your profession or company, odds are, you have to report to someone. Obviously you need to produce results first and foremost, but to progress further in your organization; my advice to you would be to earn your boss’s trust. Here are five tips that can help you down that path:
- Support their decisions – Managing and leading people is difficult enough by itself but it is downright impossible if the team is not on board with the manager’s decisions. Look, I’m not saying you need to be a yes man, the assumption is that the decisions are in the best interest of the company overall. Assist your boss by helping him/her get everyone on the same page.
- Be a sounding board – You’ve heard the phrase, “it’s lonely at the top.” As I mentioned earlier, your boss is human too. Be someone that your boss can bounce things off of. Whether its new ideas or strategies or just to vent, let your boss know that they can count on you to do just that.
- Don’t leak confidential information – This goes hand in hand with point #2. When you’re having a private conversation with your boss, don’t leave the office and then relay that to one of your peers. The confidential information you leak will usually come back to your boss and it won’t be a secret where the leak came from. There isn’t a quicker way for you to hurt your career then by losing your credibility to your boss.
- Go the extra mile – Your manager has a great deal of responsibilities. Take some off their plate. Offer to assist in any way you can that isn’t already a part of your job duties. This will signal that you care about the company and your boss and not just yourself.
- Be loyal – Last but not least. When you’re good at what you do, there will always be someone else out there that will try to recruit you away from your current situation. There will always be someone out there that will offer you more money, more perks, more of whatever to lure you away. Building trust takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight. Just like building a successful career, it takes time. You can’t build anything if you don’t eventually plant your roots and settle in. The more entrenched you get, the deeper the trust you’ll be able to build with your boss.
In business, there aren’t too many things that are more important than trust. If you can gain your boss’s trust, you’ll be an invaluable asset. Earning that trust can be a key factor to your growth.