In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people…
they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.
–Ken Blanchard
How’s your relationship with your boss?  Do you find that you are most often in sync with them or that your relationship is “hit or miss”? What’s your comfort level sharing stories about your personal life or discussing challenges you are facing at work?

Styles, personalities, preferences, and culture are a few key factors that impact relationships, and understanding them is essential, especially with your boss (and bosses’ boss).

  • Do you effectively and consistently communicate with one another?
  • Are weekly or monthly one on one sessions held and are they comfortable?
  • Do you feel valued?
  • Are you satisfied with your relationship?
  • Does anything feel wrong?

Years ago we worked with a coach that taught us to “check it out”.  If a situation or conversation did not feel right, validate the intent. Note: This isn’t about having an abusive or ineffective leader, rather it’s that your relationship has opportunities to improve and strengthen.

Other things to consider:
  • Do you know what your boss expects of you?
  • Are your work priorities jointly determined?
  • Do priorities frequently change and cause confusion and frustration?
  • Does lack of feedback or recognition impact your ability to deliver?
  • Can you share differing opinions with your boss without fear of repercussions?
  • When providing your boss with feedback, would you prefer it be done anonymously or is “in person” okay?
  • Do you find you over-commit in hopes of keeping your boss happy?

Don’t ignore any conflicts you may experience with your boss.
  • What’s the cause of the conflict and what do you feel you can change?
  • Ask what they would like to see change
  • Share your feelings
  • Commit to building a stronger relationship
  • If possible, adapt your behaviors to align with their preferences

The time you invest will serve you well!


Mike and Jan

A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.
Charles Erwin Wilson