No matter your boss’s leadership style, there are ways you can influence their decisions.

Business people conversing“Could you please step into my office.”

These can be scary words coming from your boss. Particularly if you feel like you have no power in the relationship. But what if there were a way you could have power?

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Believe it or not, there are some good techniques to managing managers, regardless of their leadership style. You simply have to know how to make your manager feel comfortable with you and believe you to be an integral part of the team. While that takes effort, it’s doable. Here’s how.

Remember Your Boss Is Human

Even bosses who exhibit excellent leadership qualities aren’t perfect. They—like all of us—can become distracted by events in their personal life, have days where they feel down, let stress get the best of them, and make mistakes. Understand that your employer is only human, and respond to these human failings with empathy rather than frustration or anger. Your boss will appreciate it, and your relationship will be better.

Know What Your Boss’s Priorities Are

Your supervisor sets the agenda, and you’re responsible for meeting their expectations—but that doesn’t simply mean getting work done on deadline. In most cases, bosses care about certain aspects of work more than others. For instance, a regional retail manager might be very particular about the way products are shelved in stores. If you’re a store manager, you should make sure you focus extra time and energy on shelving. By aligning your priorities with your boss’s, you can win your boss’s favor.

Encourage Your Boss to Delegate

Is there something your employer does poorly? If so, offer to take on the responsibility. For example, if your boss procrastinates writing important e-mails or writes them poorly, nominate yourself for the task. If you frame your suggestions as you wanting to help alleviate the workload, your boss will likely be grateful and, in time, come to rely on you.

Turn Your Complaints Into Suggestions

Standing around the proverbial watercooler and complaining about your boss with colleagues is a time-honored tradition. And while it may help relieve some stress, it changes nothing. A better tactic is to find ways to turn your complaints into suggestions. For instance, if your boss has a bad habit of calling meetings out of the blue, you can suggest the team implement regular check-in meetings to improve team efficiency and communication. While this might not completely eliminate your boss’s on-the-fly meeting style, it’s likely to reduce the frequency and demonstrate your commitment to team performance.

Communicate Your Aspirations

Presumably, you have career goals bigger than your current role. Letting your boss know what they are can encourage him or her to help you along, or even mentor you, which can strengthen the overall relationship. While you don’t want to talk about your career aspirations constantly, it’s appropriate to bring them up during performance reviews.

Earn a Business Degree or Management Degree

If you want your boss to trust you and rely on you more, consider earning a bachelor’s degree such as a BS in Business Administration (BSBA). Earning a business administration degree will show your boss that you’re serious about your job and career. It can also help you change jobs, if that’s your preference. After all, a bachelor of science in business administration can give you vital business knowledge and allow you to develop the leadership skills you’ll need to be a valuable part of whatever business you wish to work for.

If you’re worried that earning a bachelor’s in business administration might require time away from your career, don’t be. Thanks to online education, you can earn your BSBA degree while continuing to work full time. That’s because online business degree programs allow you to earn your degree from home, on a schedule that works for you.

Managing your boss can help you advance your career, and so can earning a bachelor of business administration at an online university.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a BS in Business Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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