Aiming to please: How to strike the right balance with your boss

Your boss can count on you to wholeheartedly support any suggestion or directive he or she proposes. You never push back, question or offer another perspective. You’re always enthusiastic and cooperative. In short, you’re a model employee.

Then again, maybe you’re not.

It’s important to be supportive of your boss, but it’s also equally as important to provide feedback from time to time, especially if you feel your input could benefit the company. As long as it’s done respectfully, managers appreciate employees who aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

Knowing how and when to offer feedback or provide support is the key to a mutually beneficial relationship with an employer. Here are three tips for striking the right balance with your boss.

1. Curb your communication

It’s important to keep your manager in the loop about how your projects are going. You’ll risk annoying her, however, if you overdo it on the status reports just to gain points. Keep your boss up to speed but don’t bombard her with daily emails or voice mails outlining every detail of your progress. If you’re unsure whether there’s enough communication, don’t hesitate to ask. She’ll appreciate your efforts to monitor the flow of information.

2. Speak candidly

Your boss should be able to count on you to respond honestly to work-related issues. As long as you’re not overly critical or negative, it’s perfectly fine to question a new strategy or process. Be sure to be supportive, though, if your supervisor’s final decision doesn’t include your alternative suggestion.

3. Don’t wait to be asked

Managers often find it difficult to delegate when they’re feeling overwhelmed. When your boss seems snowed under, look for ways you can help out. Offering to take on a specific project may make it easier for her to delegate. She’ll also appreciate the fact that you approached her without waiting to be asked.

Bosses need — and welcome — constructive feedback and support to help them successfully lead their teams. An honest employee who respectfully speaks up when needed is more beneficial to an employer than a “yes” man or woman.

Share This Page