Is making points with your boss a game you should play? For several years, I’ve heard we should manage 360, meaning to manage peers, direct reports, and our bosses. Although this sentiment may have some merit, it can be destructive when used to manipulate others. If you want to influence others, the best approach might be to make it easier for them to work with you, whether it’s your associates, team, or boss. So, how are you doing at making points with your boss?

“Being the best we can be at work is largely a matter of successfully managing our relationships–including our relationship with the boss.” — Lolly Daskal Leadership — 7 Smart Ways to Effectively Manage Your Boss

Making Points With Your Boss

If you want to get the most out of your working relationship with your immediate supervisor, it starts with communication, which begins by understanding their communication preferences.

What’s the best time of day to check in with your boss?

How often does your boss want updates?

What information do they want?

How do they like to communicate?

  • Email
  • Verbal F2F
  • Telephone
  • In writing

Give Your Boss Your Full Attention 

When communicating with your boss don’t let yourself be distracted. Turn off your phone, stop working, and give them your full attention.

We don’t give our full attention. Whether it’s an email, text, call, or face-to-face, our attention is nearly always divided. We’ve been sold the myth of multitasking and bought it lock, stock, and barrel. Not giving others our undivided attention isn’t multitasking—it’s rude.” — Why Communication in the Workplace Sucks

What Is Your Boss’s Management Style?

Next, try to understand your boss’s management style. How does your manager make decisions and share them with the team? What are your boss’s priorities? How does your manager manage?

  • Do they takes charge, controlling, and directing activities
  • Are they laid back and relaxed — lets the team figure it out
  • Are they a do-it-yourselfer — no one can do it as well as they can
  • Do they seek input and delegates responsibility

I could list 20 management styles; most managers wouldn’t fit one category. They’d be a combination of styles. The best way to make it easier for your boss to work with you is to understand their management/leadership styles and when they use them.

If you do your best to influence those around you rather than attempting to control them, you have a better chance of sharing your points with a receptive audience. Learning how others prefer information makes it more digestible for them. If you want to “manage” others on your team, including your boss, learn their management tendencies and how they communicate. The best way to be heard is to make it easier for others to hear you.

How Can I Help You? 

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out. It might help you stop putting off what you want to do.