Are you in a meaningful relationship?
If you work, the answer is yes.
Whether its a more traditional model with a direct manager or freelancing among numerous jobs you have some form of boss. Its one of the most important relationships in your life.
Are you investing in it?
There are lots of guides to being a better boss: let's talk about being a better worker.
- Likable – do you brighten the room when you enter it, or when you leave? Being likable is just important. Not fake, not fawning, but likable. Why? Because people will spend 8-10 hours a day with you: being a prick wears thin pretty fast. How to be likable? Very simple: show actual interest in (make eye contact, listen actively, spend time with) your boss and teammates. Seriously. That's it. If you want to be likable show a genuine interest in others
- Commitments – meet them. 80% of people don't. Something always comes up to delay, invalidate or obviate work. Want a better relationship? Meet commitments. One way to meet more commitments is to think twice about making them before hand. Don't be the person always shouting Yes to requests. Be the person who actually thinks before making agreements – and then deliver on them. You'll be better thought of immediately
- Balanced – work can be crazy. It can also be stimulating, intense, energizing or any label you choose to apply. Labelling every day as out of control will invite just that type of energy. Work, like all of life, moves in waves from high demand to relative peace . Keep yourself balanced through sleep, diet and exercise and discipline your mind to recognize this moment will not last. Stay in the game knowing you can weather the situation. Balance lets you be in the moment – not of it
- Open – being open improves capability. Open to new ideas, to feedback, to questioning practices and priorities. Being open – ie, not locked into a fixed mindset [see: Carol Dweck] – enables us to continually choose from appropriate solutions as we learn new ones. How to address tasks, problems, relationships, etc. Openness allows us to rethink our personal practice continually. Increasing our capabilties increases our value. Be open to all that surrounds you
- Self-directed – get shit done. Commerce is exchange: our labor for their rewards. People are often very interested in the rewards part. And yes, all due deference to Herzberg's hygeine theory, we should care about rewards. But don't forget the labor. Bosses reward people who get things done. Not people who talk about getting things done, make PowerPoints about it, or set up a Hangout about it but those who actually do it. Get things done and your value – and relationship – increases
The impact bosses' have on our career and financial well-being make this relationship one of the most important to our professional careers. Maybe the most important. Yet many of us don't actively think about how to harvest this.
Taking ownership of how you participate in it every day makes you a better partner in this critical relationship.
Invest in yourself by investing in relationship.