They say, “careers are all about relationships.” Just look at all the resources that go into networking. But your most crucial relationship at work can also be the most intimidating (and the most frustrating): the one with your boss.

You and your boss don’t have to be best friends. Sometimes those kinds of personal bonds develop, but usually the supervisor-employee dynamic stands in the way. Still, even without the buddy-buddy connection, there should be a level of respect between you two. If there isn’t, it’s up to you to nurture it.

It’s not always that easy. One study showed that nearly half of employees (49%) have quit a job due to a bad relationship with a supervisor. The same data set also indicated that only 18% of workers say they can trust their boss. That doesn’t bode well for long-term relationship-building.

Still, it’s important to make an effort. A bad relationship fuels stress and (as the stats show) can lead to an early exit from a position. Plus, you’ll want a good reference from your boss down the line.

So how do you do it? How do you navigate the emotional minefield of the employee-supervisor relationship? Here are some tips on improving your connection with your boss:

Do Your Job Well

Your boss is trying to get things done. No matter how much they like you personally, the bottom line comes down to performance. If you aren’t contributing your fair share, you’ll have trouble forming a positive connection with your supervisor.

Before thinking about other aspects of your relationship, make sure your baseline execution is top notch. Do your work well. Then, your boss will respect and value you. The rest of your bond will flow from there.

Stay Upbeat

Don’t just contribute to production. Make a positive contribution to the office vibe as well. Culture plays a key role in any work environment. If you can bolster that, you create another kind of value for yourself – something your boss will greatly appreciate.

Do this by remaining upbeat, even during difficult circumstances. Try not to get frazzled or cynical. Give encouragement to your coworkers and support to your supervisor. Maintaining this positive attitude will cement your relationship with everyone in the office, especially with your boss.

Respond Positively to Feedback

Criticism can be hard to take. Everyone wants to be perfect on the first go-around and hearing a critique can make anyone defensive. Still, your boss is going to have feedback for you, and not all of it is going to be good.

Respond to these assessments with your usual upbeat attitude. Make changes quickly and without grumbling. Not only will this improve communication with your boss. Absorbing the criticism will make you a better employee over the long run.

Find the Right Check-In Frequency

To form a good relationship with your boss, you want to foster strong communication with them. However, this can mean different things to different people. Some supervisors want constant updates, so they know what everyone is doing at every moment. Others prefer to let their employees figure out most of the details on their own and only report back occasionally.

Figure out what your boss wants from you. That way, you can provide them the perfect amount of feedback, without becoming annoying or getting yourself labeled as the office rogue.

Finding the right boss is as important as finding the right job. A close connection with your supervisor will allow you to unlock your hidden talents and push your career forward. A strong recruiting firm, like SmartTalent, can find the perfect situation for you.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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