June 15, 2011

How To Help Your Boss!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Every person reading this article; indeed, most every person on this planet has experienced the phenomenon of The Boss. This is the designated person within your organization who gives the orders and runs the show.
He or she is the person you talk about the most and strive to do your best for, right?
But the real question is: do you daily do your bit to help the boss be a better boss, producing better results and astonishing every one in the entire organization?

You see, virtually everyone in virtually every organization is so focused on what the boss thinks of them and what everything he says means... that almost no one thinks about what the boss needs to do his job better, for the good of all. Hence this checklist of things you can do starting today to make your boss more effective and hence your organization overall.

1) Review your own working relationship with the boss.

*Making your boss more productive starts with -- you!

*What are you doing that is less than effective?

*Do you come in habitually late?

*Do you take extended, unauthorized breaks and lunch?

*Do you have a desk that resembles an explosion in a paper factory, so that you're constantly engaged on wasting time finding things that should rightly be at your fingertips?

*Do you spend your office time online visiting websites you shouldn't while muttering about how difficult and time-consuming your job is?

If any of these, or countless other infractions, apply to you... you are not helping yourself and you are certainly not helping your boss.

Start by putting one of your typical days under a microscope. What do you do that you shouldn't? What are you not doing that you should?

Before you can help the boss, you may well need some help yourself.

2) What kinds of things does the boss usually say to you?
Bosses are in the business of constantly reviewing performance and working with employees to improve what they do. This means communication, and a lot of it.

What is the boss saying in her communications to you? Your job is to become a better employee in the eyes of your designated boss. To do so, keep a list of everything the boss says to you and writes to you. Here you'll find the seeds for improvement.

The plain fact is, you probably haven't been very concerned about making your boss' life easier... and you probably haven't reviewed all his communications to see what he's really saying and what you need to do. Now, however, that must be a key consideration... not just once either.

3) Study what the boss does... and brainstorm ways you can make what he does easier and more effective.

For instance, say your boss has to remind you constantly about a given infraction or task inadequately or incompletely performed. Say that you must file a daily report on sales, for instance, before leaving for the day. Say you're lax in this department; your report often comes in the day after, or even later. This inconveniences your boss, makes his life more difficult than it needs to be, and doesn't help your advancement prospects either.

Remember, if the boss is engaged in constant oversight of what you're doing and getting you to do your job better, he's wasting time better spent on higher-level, organization-building duties.

4) Volunteer suggestions that will make your boss' life easier.

Every boss in the world is engaged in numerous tasks which others could do as well and which prevent the boss from using his skills in the best possible way. A perceptive individual like you can be of the utmost assistance here.

Say your boss has to make sure the rest room is always clean and hygienic. Employees complain when high standards are not kept, but who's helping the boss with this task, which is frankly not very taxing, though most important?

How about you? Once you've watched the boss do this task and once you're sure you can easily add it to your work load, schedule an appointment with the boss and propose that you take over this task, to free up some of the boss' valuable time. In other words be proactive.

Given the ordinary relations between employer and employee, your boss may well be astonished at your proposal, maybe wondering what you've really got in mind. However, make it clear you want to help the boss delegate less significant tasks, the better able to concentrate on things important.

Your boss, being human, will want to know what your motivation is, what is your ulterior motive? Are you after more money? Even the boss' job?

Your response should be simple and honest, "I want to help you."

It may well be that your boss has never heard such a sentiment before; it may take a moment or two for the very idea to sink in. Sit down and say nothing until the boss speaks to you -- and accepts your proposition.

5) Begin your new task at once, as soon as the boss has approved.

Don't wait to begin the new regime, the regime of helpfulness and needed assistance. Start today.

Make sure you understand the new task completely; written instructions may be necessary. Then commence at once, always giving the boss a prompt, clear report on what you did. Do the task the very best way you can, thereby indicating what kind of person you are and the high standards you mean to maintain.

6) Look out for other ways to assist.

Don't propose too many changes at the beginning; one is enough for now. But not forever. As soon as you have mastered the new task delegated by your boss; as soon as you are doing it promptly and well... continue your self-appointed, important task of reviewing other things you could take on. You are sure to find several.

By this time, your boss will be at once happy at what an exemplary, helpful employee you are... while wondering whether you're bucking for his job. Make it clear that your first objective is just being helpful, but that you would like to be considered for advancement when positions emerge. The fact that you are ambitious is a plus; make sure the boss sees it that way, too. When asked, make it clear you're a team player and that serve the captain of that team... the boss.

You are the best employee around. Soon you'll be the best boss, too.

People who show the empathy and willingness to assist the boss as you are doing are the best employees on earth. Believe me, your boss knows this, and if he's as dedicated to the organization as you are, he'll do what's necessary to keep you. Congratulations! You are moving up... and will continue to do so... becoming in short order the boss yourself.

Now boss: what is your first task? To locate the best and brightest in your organization... the people who can help you and make you the very best boss ever. People like you!

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author's permission by  Nicole King.

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