10 Tips for a strong relationship with your manager

How is it going between you and your supervisor? Can it be better? Even better?

Here are 10 tips for a strong relationship with your supervisor.
When I was still employed, I had very good and inspiring managers. They gave me all the space to develop myself further and they had trust in me. But I’ve also had bosses that I would have liked to stick behind wallpaper. The question then quickly becomes: do I leave or do I stay?

Get to work and improve

But an even more important question is in my opinion; what can I do to build and maintain a good relationship with my supervisor and thereby increase my job satisfaction? If you manage to ask yourself that question, and you have the courage to also look at your own character and your own patterns, then that is a victory over yourself. Does that always work? No, of course not. There are two people involved in the situation, both of whom must have the will to invest in each other. It’s about “win-win”. I regularly facilitate sessions where there is a bad, disrupted relationship between a supervisor and one of his/her executives, managers, or employees. Or think of the relationship between a board and the director. I find it beautiful to see how these relationships then run better or even well afterwards.

10 Tips for a strong relationship with your supervisor

Here I give you 10 tips for ‘coaching your supervisor’. I’m talking about ‘he’, but that can of course also be ‘she’. Maybe you have additional suggestions, I would love to hear from you!

  1. Remember that he also has a heart, is a human being, that he also has feelings and probably also suffers from a disrupted relationship. Dare to show and share your human side or ask about his personal experiences.
  2. Understand his goals, priorities, and expectations. Know what he finds important, know what he wants, what keeps him awake at night. Then you can respond to that.
  3. Know what your own goals are, what you are being judged on. That sounds logical, but I still notice that not everyone knows that specifically or then goes after it. The clearer the better.
  4. Manage his expectations. That means that you clearly indicate where you stand and what you are going to do, what you are going to achieve. And if it turns out that you cannot keep those agreements, report that and indicate how and when you will solve it. This has to do with being clear and proactive. Your supervisor wants to know where he stands. Not hearing or seeing anything always arouses irritation.
  5. Adjust to his communication style. Observe his typical body language, his intonation, and his choice of words. And adapt to this. Often you see, for example, that supervisors are direct, to-the-point, goal-oriented. Then it helps if you also keep your story in that way. This alignment, where NLP goes much further, makes a huge difference!
  6. Prepare your conversations well. If you know what your manager expects, if you know what you find important yourself, and if you know how to adjust to your supervisor, then you can also prepare your conversations well. You then come well-prepared. It also gives you more self-confidence.
  7. Help him to be successful. How can you help him to be successful with the company? Give him tips, give back relevant things you hear in the environment, copy an interesting article, etc.
  8. Give compliments: look for the positive things and name them. You know that everyone needs compliments. And if you are in charge, you get compliments less often. But you need it just as much as anyone else. By the way, only give a compliment if you really mean it, so do it sincerely.
  9. Also give negative feedback. Often difficult for many, but so important to grow and let others grow. The way you do it is at the same time the guarantee for success. That form ensures that it is not perceived as criticism. You can read more about giving feedback in this article about feedback.
  10. Stay professional! Control your emotions. That sounds logical, but sometimes quite difficult when things go wrong. I also experience that people hide, no longer dare to stick their head above the parapet.
    A supervisor finds it very nice and experiences it as loyal when people say something directly to him, instead of saying it to others. Break this, step out of your comfort zone and/or seek help from a mentor or coach who helps you with your emotions and helps you get back on track. You can find more about finding a good coach HERE.

Those are my 10 tips for a strong relationship with your supervisor.

I highly appreciate hearing your experiences as well. What tips can you add?
Do you want to read more about leadership and getting leadership? Then read my book “My best team ever! In 7 steps to Golden Leadership“. Or (Tip 11): Have the book signed and give the book to your supervisor!

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