Hooper Leadership Coaching
Accelerating Leaders


Thoughts on Leadership

Improve Your Relationship with Your Boss

The relationship we have with our boss is one of the most important aspects of our career. Get this wrong and we will have frustration and possibly a short stay on the job. I will show you a six step process to help.



Understand your boss's profile and goals

My son, who started working for IBM, asked me, “Dad, what is the one lesson you have learned about working with your bosses through the years.”

Wow, what a great question!

I told him “Get inside the head of your boss and understanding his/her profile and goals. Then do your job so that that his/her desires are fulfilled.”

That has proven to be true in all the various jobs I have had in my career—but it was not always like that.

I experienced some of these things; maybe you have as well.

  • Conflict with your boss
  • Treating your projects as more important than the manager’s projects
  • Desire to improve your relationship with your boss but not sure how
  • Your manager has given an indication that you have performance issues
  • Your boss has mentioned the stylistic differences between you both
  • Others are getting responsibilities that you think you should get

The Benefits of the "Manage and Lead up Coaching Framework" include:

  • Improve what might be your most important relationship in your career
  • Gain clarity about what matters to your manager in terms of performance
  • Increase awareness of the true quality of the relationship
  • Deepen communication with your boss
  • Greater responsibility and increase pay

There are 6 steps to consider in order to improve your relationship with your boss which can bring these benefits.  

Step 1: Ask yourself this question: “How willing am I to choose to make this relationship work?”

Step 2: “How willing am I to take full responsibility for the relationship?”

Step 3: Understand your Manager’s profile. There are 9 aspects of your manager’s profile which you need to understand in this step.

Step 4: Assess the Relationship—what is working and what is not working. There are 12 assessment indicators in this step.

Step 5: Brainstorm on strategies to strengthen the relationship—communication, attitudes, and behaviors. There are 14 strengthening strategies in this step.

Step 6: Create an action plan with support and encouragement for the first 90 days up to 6 months.

If you or someone you know would like to discuss a strategy on how to improve your relationship with the boss, contact me.

More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee's success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts.

~ Travis Bradberry

What would be possible in your career if your relationship with your boss significantly improved?

The best book I have read on this subject is Leading from the Second Chair by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson.  Although it is written from the perspective of the church, there are excellent principles that will work in any business setting.