How to Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Boss

It is common knowledge that to get ahead in your career you must have a great relationship with your supervisors or just get along with them at the very least. Making a conscious effort to build a healthy relationship with your boss could be worth the effort if you are serious about moving up your company’s career ladder. Here are some steps to take in order to be pals with the man in the corner office.


You might think this is the best way to be buddy-buddy with your manager, but “friending” a superior on Facebook can seriously jeopardize your work relationship. Which, if you think about it, is a more important type of relationship to maintain with your boss.

Being friends with your boss on social media means either of two things. Either you become fully aware of each other’s personal lives, and occasional drunk pictures, or will have to hide and un-tag all sorts of incriminating posts by yourself and by well meaning family and friends. Most bosses like to be friendly with their staff but what all of them may or may not know is that they still like to be treated like the boss while being friendly with you. Avoid becoming too friendly by steering clear of virtual relations, these waters are harder to chart and don’t matter as much as face to face interaction anyway.


One of the things people don’t take advantage of enough is constructive communication with superiors. Bosses like it when you communicate with them, it shows you have initiative and care enough about your work to clarify instructions and run through progress notes with them.

It is important to ask your boss for feedback. That way, not only are you earning brownie points for being an attentive scout, but you are also more likely to turn out results they approve of. It is also important to be truthful about deadlines and expectations. Managing your boss’ expectations early on about something you are working on can prevent disappointments later on. Lastly, ask them what is expected of you in whatever project the two of you are working on together. This way, you can be clear about your deliverables keeping you fulfilled and your boss happy.


An old co-worker of mine was a MASTER at office politics. She got on well with the bosses, without alienating our peers. She sailed through the tense office situations with surprising ease and, most importantly, survived all office retrenchments unscathed. When asked about how she is so adept at it, while the rest of us were clumsy at best, she said that she has two codes of conduct for herself in the office: Do your best at your work without overshadowing your boss and make as many people on your team, especially your superiors, look good.

Bosses are human. Humans who can feel threatened if their boss is eyeing YOU for a promotion instead of them. So do your best at work while making a conscious effort to make your team look good. This way, you become indispensible to them. In the corporate world, you must always remember that you are never PUSHED UP the ladder of success—you are PULLED UP. So make good with your superiors and they will do good by you.


Once you’ve made it to your boss’ inner circle, you now become privy to confidential information about the company and your boss’ opinion about your co-workers or your boss’ opinion about his boss. It is important that you maintain complete confidentiality about these conversations, whether your boss asks you to zip your mouth or not. It will show them that they can trust you and what is trust if not the basis of all healthy relationships.


Showing initiative shows your boss that you are always willing to go the extra mile. It shows that you are dependable and good managers are always on the look out for skilled and dependable people they can train to be their “mini-managers”. Staying on this track will allow you to stand out from the crowd when it’s promotion time.


Like everybody else, your boss can come in a different mood than he/she was yesterday. You don’t have to take this personally. Sometimes they can be incredibly supportive, sometimes you can get yelled at for something that seemed fine the day before. Don’t take it personally, get on with your job like it was any ol’ day. Your bosses know when they are being difficult. Seeing you deal with it objectively shows them that they can count on you. It also shows that you don’t judge them, which in turn fosters a healthy relationship between the both of you. Most importantly, it shows that you mean business and are not about to let anybody’s mood, including your own, get in the way of getting your job done.

Most importantly…


No amount of personal relations hocus-pocus can get you on your boss’ good side if you don’t do well at your job. No matter how friendly you are with your boss, it all comes down to what you can bring to the table.