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Stay Close to Your Boss, Keep Your Job

Having a good relationship with your boss could be the primary reason you'll keep your job when others are losing theirs. Why? Simple: If he's told to let people go to save money, your boss will probably keep the employees he knows best and trusts most. The good news is there are lots of ways to support your boss and build a professional relationship with him - without coming off as a sycophant. The key: Remember that in tough times managers tend to favor self-directed, top performers.

Here are the five tips for building a healthy relationship with your boss.

Help your boss succeed: Don't ignore your own performance objectives, but do your part to help your boss achieve his business plan. You'll stand a better chance of meeting your own professional goals if you help your boss meet his.

Be trustworthy: If your boss shares information in confidence, keep it a secret. Never gossip about him behind his back. Being a trusted confidant is a sign of a healthy relationship - one that will lead to job security.

Pitch in: Volunteer for extra duties or take a few projects off your boss's plate. If your boss knows he can count on you to pick up some of the slack after a layoff, he's more likely to keep you around.

Be supportive: Compliment your boss every now and then. Being a manager can be a thankless job, and chances are he's not getting a whole lot of praise from senior executives right now.

Manage yourself: By all means ask for direction, guidance and support. But if you need constant support or need to be supervised closely, you're going to be in the crosshairs. When push comes to shove, your boss will opt to retain employees who will grab the ball and run with it.

First published Jan. 27, 2009

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AUTHORLeslie Stevens-Huffman Insider Comment
  • sa
    sandy2012
    11 April 2012

    I totally agree with the above comment . It is RQ , which matters most , but how to do this
    I have tried a lot , but it is not helping .My boss is not finding any fault in my work but at the same time , he has never been close to me

    He threw a personal party , where he called some selected team members & left few
    I was one of the few , who were left out

    Is not the behaviour of my boss incorrect . It cause great resentment

  • Jo
    Jose Palatty
    4 October 2010

    Yes I agree with the tip. When the question comes to retain few out of many the boss always tend to retain the one who is more closer to him than even the competent one.
    When it comes to promotion or growing in the career my experience says that at times the RQ (Relationship Quotient) plays a better role than the IQ( intelligence Quotient) and EQ ( Emotional intelligence or Quotient). However my advice is that only with RQ one should not go up. There should be substance. Otherwise when they remove the scaffolding ( Supportive boss) then you will be flat on earth. Therefore over to the relationship with the boss is concerned my suggestions are as follows.
    ·one should not go too close to get burned at the same time should not go so far to be forgotten.
    ·Be sincere to self so that you will be sincere to the boss and others
    ·Convey the differences of opinion to the boss directly than telling anybody else.
    ·Agree with the boss about the deliverables which are cascaded from the boss's deliverables
    ·Take ownership in whatever one does.

  • Jo
    Jose Palatty
    4 October 2010

    Yes I agree with the tip. When the question comes to retain few out of many the boss always tend to retain the one who is more closer to him than even the competent one.
    When it comes to promotion or growing in the career my experience says that at times the RQ (Relationship Quotient) plays a better role than the IQ( intelligence Quotient) and EQ ( Emotional intelligence or Quotient). However my advice is that only with RQ one should not go up. There should be substance. Otherwise when they remove the scaffolding ( Supportive boss) then you will be flat on earth. Therefore over to the relationship with the boss is concerned my suggestions are as follows.
    ·one should not go too close to get burned at the same time should not go so far to be forgotten.
    ·Be sincere to self so that you will be sincere to the boss and others
    ·Convey the differences of opinion to the boss directly than telling anybody else.
    ·Agree with the boss about the deliverables which are cascaded from the boss's deliverables
    ·Take ownership in whatever one does.

  • kr
    kristin
    1 May 2009

    Well, I was close, and appreciated, but my boss was not given any notice about my being let go. Her boss made the decision, yet still claims it came from above him! In fact, it was all about money. I think I may have been making 4 or 5 dollars an hour more than the junior they kept, left with all the burden, until they let her go as well, leaving my x-boss with a huge problem. I don't think she (my x-boss, definitely a 'her') had a chance, or a choice. I've heard all that about 'making yourself 'indispensable'...when it comes down to it, the money is all.

    The lesson from this end: trust no one, blame no one...carry on.

  • Li
    Lilly
    1 February 2009

    And what if you have a boss who is acting in an unscrupulous manner? Should should you still be supportive of them and have their back?

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