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The hallmark of a good working relationship with a supervisor is communication. To connect with your boss in a mutually beneficial way, you'll need to communicate in the right ways at the right times. Effective communication with your boss requires a focus on professional behavior and a genuine interest in providing quality work.
Connecting with your boss means knowing his schedule and his favored style of communication so you can approach him in the manner and time when he's most likely to be receptive. Find out in advance when he's usually free to talk, and if he prefers phone, email or a face-to-face meeting for daily communication. Regardless of what he prefers, the important thing is to maintain regular contact. Meeting with your boss periodically allows more time to learn about his expectations, likes and dislikes, and perception of your work performance. This way, nothing is a surprise to you during annual review time. By taking the time to connect with your boss, you might also open up more opportunities in your career, including promotions and salary increases.
Make It Count
Make sure the time you spend with your boss is quality time. This simply means that connecting with her should always be positive so that it benefits your work relationship, job and career -- and hers. Know when to balance topics of conversation between daily work life and job-related issues. Speak up in meetings so your boss sees you as an active participant. Ask questions to ensure you are continually improving your skills. Just keep in mind that when you connect with your boss, it's important to respect her time and realize that not every concern of yours is her top priority. Determine what's important to discuss and what can be left for later.
Keep It Professional
It's okay to share a personal side with your boss in the break room or out to lunch. However, remember that anything you say to him can be held against you. This is why you're better keeping all subject matter as professional and non-controversial as possible. Also, remember that the best way to be professional is to actually do the job you were hired to do. Show initiative by providing creative ideas, solutions and regular updates on your work progress. This way, your boss will naturally want to connect more with you.
Be yourself when connecting with your boss. Being phony or a kiss-up is usually very obvious and will not win any points with her. However, showing a true desire to support the goals of your boss and company will put you in a positive light. Being genuine also means being honest, true to your word, trustworthy, loyal, respectful and not prone to gossip. If you genuinely care about completing your work according to her preferences, and providing your boss with solutions that demonstrate your skills instead of burdening her with problems, it will be easier to connect with your boss and have a rewarding work relationship.
Anna Windermere started her writing and editing career in 1993, upon graduating from the University of Florida's esteemed journalism school with a bachelor's in journalism. Ms. Windermere, a senior-level copy editor, has appeared in mastheads of newspapers and magazines as copy chief, writer and proofreader, including "Sun-Sentinel," "Miami Herald," "City Link," "New Times," "NewBeauty," "Luxe," "Florida Alligator," "Orange & Blue," and more.