Every relationship in this world exists for a purpose - for both parties A and B which are bound by that relationship. And for the relationship to thrive, it's important to define the purpose, and at different stages, redefine the very purpose.
Every relationship is unique in nature with different parameters affecting it in different ways. So we should not expect two relationships to be equal. Every relationship has certain boundaries. So we should set some boundaries ourselves to take charge of the relationship. Every relationship has some unsaid protocols. So we should make sure we know what protocols in our case are! All relationships in our life affect us in some way or other- positively, negatively or neutrally. It's important to accept this fact instead of running away from it.
One of the most important relationship we make is one with our employers, but we often don't give it the due importance which eventually leads us frustrated, unhappy, unsatisfied etc.
Many surveys suggest that people don't leave organizations, they leave bosses. This could also be interpreted as when we move to a new organization, we actually join a new boss, starting a special relationship with him/her!
One of the most important job duties that we do, which never gets mentioned on those lengthy JD's, is to manage our manager and manage this relationship! Before we understand this piece of our job, sometimes it's too late.
This relationship needs to be healthy - and the onus lies on both of us. So we need to make sure that we give each other time to understand our circumstances, personalities, nature, working style and so on. It's as important to invest in this relationship constantly throughout the tenure as is any other priority task we are expected to complete.
1. If we don't know if we should call our boss by first name or with title, we should ask him directly.
2. Ask for his regular feedback - don't wait for the appraisal talk as a tool to blame each other or gain something.
3. Take out time to celebrate small milestones of success.
4. Celebrate birthdays, festivals, anniversaries as a family.
Most important thing is to acknowledge that this relationship is important just as any other relationships in our life. And then give it due attention, time, care, and warmth to lead a healthy work life!
Good luck managing your manager...
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Swati is the General Manager of Social Venture Partners (SVP) Hyderaad, where she builds powerful partnerships with non-profit organisations to tackle India's most pressing social challenges. SVP is the world's largest network of engaged philanthropists, with over 3,200+ investor-donors across more than 40 cities worldwide. Swati is a Teach For India Fellow - she has taught 100 girls for two years in a slum community in New Delhi. She has previously worked with Hedge Funds for four years as a consultant in New Delhi and New York. Swati holds a bachelor degree in Computer Science from the Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology.