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05 October 2023

How to keep the boss happy?

By Shuchita Kapur

Are you getting some nasty looks from your boss at work? If yes, then there is some problem and working on it right earnest may not only save you your job but help you move forward in the long-term. Employers still rule in the current environment and the task ahead is to keep the boss happy if you don’t want to start scanning the classified again.

At the very least, the fact that you ended up reading this is because you want to work on how to keep your boss happy. So, that is a good start. Emirates 24|7 spoke with some experts from the recruitment industry in the country and they have these tips to keep the big man in the chair happy.

Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, Bayt.com

A healthy relationship between managers and employees was deemed crucial by 72 per cent of participants in [our] poll. Maintaining an open channel of communication with your boss is one of the key ingredients of a successful long-term relationship. The goal of these communications is to build a professional rapport, gain visibility and ensure an unhampered flow of information about the firm, the unit, your own performance and any problems, concerns, issues, accomplishments on either side. But how do you achieve this?

1. Invest in building an open channel of communication early on: Get your boss accustomed to your wandering into his office for a chat or scheduling a meeting for yourself in his diary on a periodic basis. Do not wait for him to schedule these meetings! Do them often and as casually as you can so that your meetings with him become a routine part of his day, week or month. This will ensure you do not end up piling up grievances, complaints and unanswered questions simply because you don't have the courage to face your boss or have never taken the time to build an open dialogue.

Always go to these meetings prepared. Don’t be afraid to include the casual and comical occasionally in these meetings to break the ice. Your boss will appreciate it if, in addition to your professional issues, you keep him casually informed of what is going on in the firm at your level. AVOID gossip; the goal of these meetings is not trivialities, it is to build a comfort level and flow of career-related information that promotes your professional growth.

2. Learn to listen to your boss: Listening to your boss means understanding the tone as well as the content. Make sure you really understand both your manager's directions and where he is coming from. Ask questions if you don't. Your boss will generally set the objectives and vision for the unit and you will only understand his philosophy and general business style if you really listen.

3. Learn to cope with constructive criticism: Some bosses are psychological bullies and criticism from such manager types is far more difficult to take. However, most managers’ dole out criticism with the territory and you should be prepared to handle the criticism in a professional manner and learn from it. Constructive criticism should be used as a means to steer your professional development and should help you avoid career pitfalls.

4. Reverse Feedback: Bear in mind that your boss has a boss and deadlines too, so learn to make his life a bit easier by sending some reverse positive feedback his way when you can. Avoid the false superficial kind of praise but DO compliment or thank your boss whenever you can - on something he taught you, a course he sent you to, a project he sent your way, a project he didn't send your way, a tip he gave you or some other form of constructive criticism he made, a resource he assigned you, a deal he landed, a client he made happy, a new idea, a presentation he made etc. He will appreciate the flattery and support if it is genuine and delivered professionally. He will also be more inclined to help you in the future if you are appreciative of the steps he takes to train, coach, guide and promote you.

Cliff Single, Commercial Manager at BAC Middle East

1.Enthusiasm: A manager likes to see people approach their work in a positive manner and will value a self-motivated member of staff. This does not mean being sycophantic or obsequious; a good manager will recognize this for what it is.

2.Be a team-player: Managers like a harmonious office environment. Try to co-operate with your fellow employees and avoid unnecessary conflict or petty disputes. When arguments do arise, deal with them in a mature and professional manner by trying to consider the other person's viewpoint and the overall needs of the organisation.

3. Be pro-active: Do not simply react to situations or problems - try to actively anticipate the needs of the business and offer suggestions on how to improve things.

4. Be adaptable & flexible: Managers appreciate it when employees 'go the extra yard' to look after a customer or client or to help the business.

5. Be professional: A manager will appreciate their employees representing the organisation in a professional manner.

Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase

1. Understand the priorities of the person above, so that one can contribute to them successfully.  Work with him/her towards these goals.

2. Understand the personality of the manager, since most of the times it is not what you say and suggest but how.  Many things can be achieved if fine-tuned with the communication mode of the manager.

3. Keep a positive spirit, be a team player, keep a smile.

4. Personal goals can be achieved without being aggressive and overly competitive.  We wish people to value us and not ‘fear’ us.

5. Remember that the manager is always a person: remember personal anniversaries that will give to the relationship a human touch and not a mere business perspective.