We spoke last month in the Q&A episode about giving your boss feedback. As this subject comes up again and again in your questions to us, this week I've expanded on the topic. To give it some context, I framed it around one of the best questions from our listeners, thank you Jordan.
The question was:
“I’m finding it difficult determining the boundaries between demonstrating a proactive approach to leadership and work whilst also making sure I don't overstep my current job title. I believe I have the support of my peers; however, I don't wish to upset the balance by overthrowing my current senior somehow. What's the best way of dealing with this? Or is it just something that'll run its own course if I just keep working hard?"
Such a good question, and one that I’m sure you can relate to in some way, shape or form. So to tackle this, I start with discussing how to work out what type of boss you actually have (I’ll do this by asking a bunch of questions that you can answer in your head as you listen), which is imperative in making a plan for how to deal with them. Following this I cover:
What all bosses THINK they want - you might be familiar with ‘independent, hard-working, innovative, self-starters’
What competent leaders actually DO want, that incompetent leaders don't (and let’s make a distinction here, incompetent leaders are not bad people, they’re just not great leaders yet!)
The types of behaviours that work almost universally, and yes, making your boss look good is one of these points!
What you need to communicate to keep them out of your knitting
Some suggestions on to talk to your boss and approach difficult subjects without being disrespectful
My five rules of thumb for stepping up and out of your current role, without pissing your boss off, which is going to help you big time with navigating that journey - you can download this below
Once you’ve digested all of this, you’ll see that the underlying message is that for you personally, you've got to be robust. You've got to know that pissing people off and stepping on toes occasionally comes with the territory, so don’t be discouraged at the first sign of political backlash.
The good news is though, if you can actually pull this off, you'll be establishing yourself as a high potential leader of the future. And this is going to be noticed up the line from you.
I’d love to hear if this episode has helped you work through a difficult relationship with your boss, and if you’ve got any other strategies that you use to combat their insecure behaviour!
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