By Catherine Adenle
As you explore these 8 fundamental ways to impress your manager, I know that the very thought of trying to impress your manager may make you recoil because the notion of wanting to impress your boss may strike you as a false, calculated attempt to get ahead in your career or company. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to impress a manager. Just as you manage your work, you need to also manage your manager. Your career will take off if you can show that you are capable and dependable.
If you are like most people, who will enjoy an acknowledgement or a few words of commendation, and if you work hard to ensure that you do your job well in order to be recognised for your contributions, then to me, that translates to you doing what you can to impress your manager with your capabilities, creativity, enthusiasm and other skills you might have. If you are doing all of these and ever find yourself wondering about how else you can impress your manager at work, don’t look any further. Here are 8 fundamental ways to impress your manager:
1. Exceed expectations
To impress at work, these 8 fundamental ways to impress your manager starts with standing out for all the right reasons at work. The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the ‘extra’. If you do all that is expected of you and also go beyond and exceed expectations, by anticipating and addressing your manager’s concerns, then you are on the right track. If you consistently look for ways to add value, you will shine in your manager’s book. Eventually, any extra effort will pay off because your manager will recognise your hard work and will praise or reward you. It is always good to be ahead of the game. Manage your time well so that you complete your projects well ahead of when it is due to be completed. Prioritise using what your manager places his or her priority on.
2. Make your manager look good
a key element of these 8 fundamental ways to impress your manager is to help your manager to shine. If you see making your manager look good as not fair on you, then, when you become a manager don’t expect your staff to make you look good. Think about it, if you make your manager look good, naturally you will look good too to the others. It helps with how you are perceived as perception is everything. Making your manager look good shows that you are being supportive and if you have a good manager, you will be rewarded sizeably.
3. Be a team player
Building good relationships is imperative at work. It helps with getting things done. You cannot work alone to achieve success in a team. You need teamwork so that everyone including you will work hard towards success. Expanding your circle of influence beyond your immediate team will also make you more noticed. If you are working on a project, teamwork is the key to its success. If you want to impress your manager, then you need to be able to build great relationships throughout the company. Demonstrate how you are able to help colleagues, mentor a new starter, be resourceful and improve team processes or get creative in deriving tasks that will build the team, and you’ll have your manager singing your praises. Be sure to contribute useful ideas at work especially at team meetings and prove that you care about the company and its strategy. Trust me, managers love people who are seen as interested in the company and its products.
4. Derive solutions
Managers do not like or want problems, so be fast enough to come up with solutions to problems before you go to them with a problem. It is also important to keep your manager informed of what you are doing or the decisions you’ve taken. Needless to say that you must also keep them in the loop on any mistakes that you have made, let’s face it, no one is perfect. You are bound to make mistakes, make sure you tell him or her before he or she knows. Let your manager know how you are working to correct the mistake. That to me will impress any manager. The reason for this is that it is important for your manager to know he or she can rely on you. Trust in you and how well you do your work will impress a manager.
5. Be credible
What is your forte and how can you demonstrate it? If you are interested in a business subject or how to utilise any particular skills, read up on it more, the internet is full of ‘how-to’ and relevant business information, make use of it. Follow developing trends and why not demonstrate this at work? With your skill or knowledge, seek to become the subject matter expert (SME) in your team or company. You know you are one if people see you as the ‘go-to person’ for that particular subject. Capitalise on this and think of other ways to further become relevant because of your solid knowledge in that specific field. You are not only going to impress your manager, you may well impress a whole lot of people in your company.
6. Share and celebrate success
If you have done something exceptionally well and you are being rewarded in front of everyone, even if you are the only one who did all the work, it is important that you share and celebrate the success with everyone. Do not hog the limelight alone by taking all the credit. You should always thank your manager for the help and your teammates for their support. If you share the spotlight with others and encourage them, the truth is that you will reap an even greater reward later.
Infographic: 10 Ways to Innovate and Impress at Work
7. Maintain a ‘can do’ attitude
Another key element of 8 fundamental ways to impress your manager is to always remove the words ‘can’t do’ from your vocabulary because no one wants a staff that is pessimistic and not enthusiastic about ideas or a staff that is not eager to deliver results. Although, it is completely essential to question or challenge ideas if you don’t think they will work but you have to be absolutely sure of what you are saying so that you can back your own argument up in a professional manner. Not only that, be sure to have an alternative idea that you can bring to the table. If it is your manager’s idea, you can use your judgement to determine how you approach the matter. You can consider waiting for the right moment to question your manager’s idea or order. Be sure to do this when no one else can overhear you two.
8. Don’t get sucked into office gossip
Stay away from gossips or from bad-mouthing your colleagues, your manager, or another manager. Avoid rumour-mongering and don’t be a backstabber. If you backstab people in front of your boss, he is bound to think that you can also backstab him or her. In every office, there is usually a clique, do not become part of any clique or get sucked into any unprofessional behaviour. However, it is good to be part of a professional body or a group that is seen as bringing great initiatives to the company. You can network but be sure that you keep everything civil and professional.
Although 8 fundamental ways to impress your manager as shared above, you still need to make these basics work for you. You also know your boss more than anyone else, find out what he likes in staff, and demonstrate that you can readily provide them. If any of the basics above are different from how you impress your manager, please share your views below.