, , ,

HR=Humans Represent: Success As A Suck-up?

There are certain things you should know about your boss. If you can’t answer these questions, find out. Make this your goal for 2011. I suspect the results will a). impact your workplace relationship with your boss for the better, b). make for a performance review you see an improvement on, and c). provide you with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

So what should you know about your boss?

  1. What did your boss do before he or she was your boss? This information provides you with an idea of how capable he/she is at juggling responsibilities. You will gain an idea of how dependent he/she is going to be on you to get the job done. If you discover they are clueless? Help them excel – it is going to make you look good as well (with your boss and management)!
  2. How did your boss get his/her current job? The answer provides you with all sorts of valuable information. What was it? Did someone get fired, and they get the job? Or was it a promotion by default? Was your boss brought in from the outside? These things tell you what other people think of your boss.
  3. What are your boss’ career aspirations? Is there a job they have been eying? Is this someone who values power and status? If so, be prepared and willing to help them climb the corporate ladder. Maybe it is your boss has plateau and there is not much room for growth.
  4. What is it your boss value in their job? Is the motivation to collect a paycheck, or they are motivated by the work itself? Is external exposure important, or is the interest in internal politics?
  5. How does your boss fit in with the organization at large? Is his/her political capital waning or rising?
  6. What kind of a relationship does your boss have with his/her supervisor?
  7. Is your boss promoting his/her employees? It says a lot if they put their reputation on the line to either back you up when another employee gives you a hard time, and/or they push to get their people promoted. Who wouldn’t appreciate that!
  8. What is the type of management style your boss uses? Are there frequent follow-ups or do you have so much freedom you don’t know what to do with all of it?
  9. What is it your boss values most in his/her direct reports? Lots to follow up on here – it is face-time, creativity, attention to detail, or quick responses?
  10. What is you boss’ life outside of work? It’s helpful to know such things as a hobby, college affiliation, pets, and/or family status.

In case you’re now asking how you should find out these things:

There’s a few different ways. Besides lurking profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn for clues, you may already have some of these questions answered if you and your boss have been at your jobs for awhile . Another idea you don’t want to forget is the break room/water cooler/grapevine. A word of caution – like everything else – you’ve got to consider the source. Better yet, why not ask the source?

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Kevin Dubs

This sounds like a great idea if done w/ tact. I would want to be careful to not be too snoopy but ask the right kind of questions that lead to these kind of answers when it’s relevant to the conversation we’re having.


Kevin – Agreed. For myself, I probably would not be so forward as to ask my boss directly. Instead, keep my eyes and ears open.

Sandra D. Laramee

If you are fortunate enough to work along with your boss, it is not so difficult. In healthcare administration the entire division is a working team. Every level contributes to the organizational goals and every member of the team receives recognition. PRIDE and other programs offer a opportunity for learn or hone their skills. Every level of the organization receives encouragement to attend staff, revenue and community meetings to learn about the responsibilities of the supervisors, managers and service chiefs. Social Fridays are also a popular tool for the sectional services. Barbeques give everyone a chance to blend and provide a less formal atmosphere, create dialogue with the leaders and build understanding. Anyone have experiences of their own to add?