5 way to get your boss like you

Here are another five excellent ways to get your boss to like you:

Communicate the same way your boss does.

That is, if your boss likes to use email, take the hint and email instead of calling. Go along with it if your boss prefers phone calls, or face-to-face conversations, or telepathy – okay, probably not telepathy. Even if your boss doesn’t state a preference for a specific mode of communication, usually they will tend to use the method they find most comfortable, so you should take note of their habits and follow suit. Similarly, if you talk in the same style as your boss does – be it rather casual or highly technical – your boss will be more drawn to communicating with someone who they see as communicating and thinking similarly.

Be meticulous about following through.

Following through on things that your boss thinks you may – or that someone else normally would – forget about can help you make a great name for yourself. Do not, however, promise to do things in an effort to have more things to follow through on and then forget to do so. Don’t promise to do things that you may not actually do; it’s better not to promise at all than to promise and fail to deliver. However, following through on little things – like returning phone calls or updating old charts or contact info – can make a good impression and help promote the idea that you’re very organized and detail-oriented.

Be early.

Be early to work, be early on deadlines. Just be early. It’s kind of obvious advice, and probably advice that you’ve heard before – but that’s because it works. Being late never creates a good impression, but being early does just that. Sometimes, things happen and life gets in the way and you end up being late – but if you consistently allow yourself enough time to be there early, then that won’t happen as much.

Have data.

Being able to drop relevant data into a conversation can help you look well-prepared and well-informed. Obviously, exactly what data you should have on hand depends on your field of work, but in general having data is useful – not just proving points but for scoring points.

Make a note of anything that you have in common.

If your boss happens to reference shared interests or preferences, mentally store them away. Sometime when it fits into conversation, you can reference your similar interests or preferences and it’ll be a great way for your boss to connect with you.

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5 signs your boss does not like you

Sometimes it’s completely obvious when your boss doesn’t like you. But sometimes, it’s not so clear. Here are five subtle signs that your boss doesn’t like you:

You’re not getting any reviews or feedback.

Although it might seem like getting negative reviews or feedback is worse, it’s actually getting no reviews that you should be worried about. If your boss has stopped even bothering with reviews of any kind, it could very well be because he or she doesn’t think you’ll be around all that much longer so they have stopped worrying about correcting problems.

Your boss has stopped holding you accountable.

If it’s suddenly become okay for you to stroll in late or miss meetings without giving any notice, that’s usually the sign of a problem. If your boss has always been laid back and taken pride in nurturing a flexible work environment, that’s one thing – but if they’ve suddenly changed and become okay with things that didn’t used to be okay, that’s a problem. Again, if they aren’t holding you accountable or aren’t giving you responsibilities, it’s a sign that they’ve given up on you or that they see you as a placeholder for the next person.

You got a bad spot.

Where you sit shows a lot about what your boss thinks of you. It’s the type of thing you might reasonably think that you shouldn’t read into – but, in fact, you should. Remember in Office Space how the management moved Milton’s office to the basement to try to get him to quit? Obviously that’s a movie, but the point is valid. If your boss gives you the worst office space – and keeps you there – it might be a sign they don’t like you.

Your boss is becoming inaccessible.

Some bosses can be notoriously hard to connect with, but if you notice that your boss is suddenly becoming less accessible, there might be a problem. Although everyone goes through busy periods at work, if you suspect there’s more to it than that, you’re probably right.

Your boss’s gestures don’t match with what they’re saying.

Hand motions are a big part of body language, and if your boss is being sincere – not hiding his or her distaste for you – the hand motions will match up with what they’re saying. If they don’t match – like if your boss says, “I think you are a great employee,” but points at you after saying it instead of while speaking – you might have a problem.

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Handling emotions at workplace

You probably think of emotions as something that have no appropriate place in the business world. Usually, we think of being professional as being outwardly devoid of emotional reaction in emotionally charged situations. Certainly, you can’t – or shouldn’t — publicly throw temper tantrums. However, there are some situations where it’s good to show some emotion at work.

Anne Kreamer, the author of It’s Always Personal, Navigating Emotion in the Workplace, “Since the recent study of emotion, we’re beginning to understand that the old-school sense of the workplace as rational and everything outside it as appropriate for emotions couldn’t be more wrong. In the workplace, whether you’re pitching a new concept or negotiating a deal, emotion is involved and important.” In other words, there are some situations where showing emotion can be important.

Employees often say that they relate more to bosses who show emotion. That doesn’t mean crying at every disappointment or yelling frequently – it just means maybe letting yourself show frustration when things aren’t working out or showing enthusiasm when there are positive developments. It’s doesn’t make you unprofessional; it just makes you seem more relatable to employees.

If you do find yourself in an embarrassing situation where you end up crying at work, just remember that you aren’t the first and won’t be the last ever to do it. In fact, 41 percent of women admitted to crying at work in the past year. Although only 9 percent of men admitted to crying at work, that is partially because women have much more prolactin than men, and prolactin is an important hormone related to crying. Men also have smaller tear ducts, so their tears are less likely to course down their faces even when they do cry.

To avoid awkward situations like that, if might be good to excuse yourself if you feel that you may cry. If you can’t, though, try to regain control as quickly as possible and ask pointed questions about why the other person said what they said. Trying to take a proactive role in gaining control of the situation can be key to negating the feelings of humiliation and loss of control that often accompany crying at work.

Remember, there’s no avoiding the existence of emotions; they are an evolutionary instinct, hardwired into us. Now emotions aren’t necessary helping us survive predators, but the principle is the same when we harness our emotions to survive stressful work environments.

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Surviving Valentine’s Day at the office

Many people who are single find Valentine’s Day to be pretty miserable. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, though, at the office Valentine’s Day can be simply awkward. After all, there’s a good chance that you spend more time with your co-workers than you do with your significant other. So should you get your co-workers something? A box of chocolates? A card? Probably not. It’s just too likely to cause problems. If you’re really insistent on being celebratory, maybe you could put out a bowl of candy – but everyone loves the person who leaves out candy at work, so you might want to start doing that year-round. Individual Valentine’s Day gifts, though, can be more awkward than rewarding.

Another way that Valentine’s Day can be awkward at work is if you’re dating someone at work. Obviously, I’m talking about known relationships – if you’re dating someone else and hiding the relationship from other co-workers, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. If you’re dating your co-worker, though, definitely don’t bring Valentine’s Day to work. It’s just rude to flaunt your perfect love-work mix in front of your colleagues, most of whom probably either wish that they could spend as much time with their significant other as you do or else that they had a significant other at all.

Something else you should watch out for on Valentine’s Day is flirting. When love is in the air like it is every February 14th, it can be easy to go along with the swing of things and be extra flirtatious. Don’t. Even non-flirting holiday behavior can be taken very much the wrong way when it comes to holidays like this. You probably should avoid even giving out Valentine’s Day cards because it’s simply too easy to offend someone or have your intentions misinterpreted. If you’re a boss, for similar reasons you should probably avoid office-wide card exchanges or office Valentine’s Day party – unless you are the boss of a dating service or something of that nature. In that case the rules of safe Valentine’s Day office etiquette are probably slightly different.

If, as a boss, you are really insistent on celebrating Valentine’s Day at work, there are ways to do it that can actually be good for the workplace environment. For instance, you can have some group activities, like having everyone say what they love most about their job. General office parties, though, are probably not a great idea with this particular holiday.

(Image is via here.)

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How to influence your boss

People have different personalities, so not every boss is going to be a cool boss. However, you will probably be a big help to your company – and to your boss – if you can help make them more innovative. And hopefully, once you convince your boss to be more innovative, they’ll open their mind up a little more and take a step closer to becoming a cool boss.

Whether you’re looking to influence your boss to improve your standing at the company or simply because you think it’s the right thing to do, here are a few things that you can do to help your boss become more innovative:

  • Visit start-ups with your boss. Start-ups are a hotbed of innovation and new ideas – and one day they might be the competition.
  • Talk to young customers and share the results with your boss. Young customers are not only an important demographics, but they can also be the impetus for countless innovative ideas.
  • Have a trend analyst talk with your boss. Trend analysts study the forefront of innovation, so they can tell your boss all about the newest innovations in the industry.
  • Research successful new business models – and email the info to your boss. If you want your boss to act in a certain way, one of the best motivators is to provide proof that others have done it in the past and succeeded. So, if you want your boss to be cool and innovative, find examples of other bosses who have done the same and succeeded.

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How to get a raise

Economically, times are really tough right now. Although that means that it’s that much harder to get a raise, it also means that it’s that much more necessary for you to get one. So just how do you go about getting a raise in economic times like these?

First, you need to ask yourself whether you honestly deserve a raise. If even you don’t think you really deserve a raise, arguing that you need one will be exceedingly difficult. Plus, you really don’t want to come off as the employee who is always asking for a raise – because then when you really do deserve one you won’t get it.

If you decide that you really do merit a raise, the next step is to quantify the reasons for it. That is, how exactly has your work impacted the bottom line? If you do sales, come up with sales numbers. If you have done things that have definitely saved the company a specific amount of money, cite those. If you are having a hard time finding exact numbers, list your best work and projects – and make sure to focus on work that impressed your boss.

After you’ve gathered your data, you need to practice your pitch. Lay out exactly what you are going to say to your boss to convince him or her that you need a raise. Bring along any reports, projects, or data that can visually reinforce your point. Plan out the best time to talk to your boss. If it has been a particularly bad month at your company, you might want to wait until next month. When you do decide to talk to your boss, make sure that you schedule a time in advance so that there aren’t distractions when you’re busy trying to make your point.

If you’re in the process of plotting just how to ask for a promotion, there are certain things that you can do in the meantime to help get yourself noticed. Even when you’ve already been hired, continued self-branding efforts can be really important, so keep perfecting your public image, whether it’s through maintaining a website or networking or speaking engagements. The more your boss hears other people mention your name, the easier it is for them to believe that you are a hot commodity. One great way to get yourself noticed is to try to work on pet projects that your boss finds particularly important. Projects like that are exactly the type of thing to mention when you’re presenting the reasons you deserve a raise.

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