16 Smart Ways You Can Get Your Boss to Trust You
Developing trust between you and your boss will make you a better worker, and you’ll likely end up with the freedom to take on bigger assignments.
Ask your boss to meet for a hypothetical “postmortem” discussion before you even start a project. Frame it as if the project failed and you’re figuring out what might have gone wrong. That way, you can find solutions before those problems arise. “He would know I’m thinking forward and thinking of what the issues are before it rolls out,” Drumwright says. “Any good boss will appreciate that.” But watch out for these signs you can’t trust your boss.
Warn your boss of obstacles as they come
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When you can sense you’re getting behind schedule or creeping over your budget, don’t wait to bring it up to your boss. “People sometimes overpromise. But more often than not, it’s that they don’t adjust their expectations along the way,” Peterson says. “If you spring it on somebody, that destroys trust, but if you bring them in as you move along the path, they aren’t surprised and can own the solution.” Share your concerns with your boss, along with your ideas on how to get back on track. Don’t miss these rules successful people break.
Ask before giving your opinion
When you disagree with a decision your boss is making, respectfully ask to share your views instead of blurting out what’s wrong with your manager’s choice. Often, your boss be happy to get a second opinion, but other times he or she might not care to hear your disapproval. “Sometimes they’ll say they don’t want the input. Just ask them,” Merrill says.
Be a trustworthy follower
While your boss will likely appreciate feedback if you see problems with the company’s strategy, accept the direction he or she chooses to go, even if you don’t agree with it. Instead of saying, “I told you so,” continue working hard to make the final decision work. “Give feedback, and take your boss on when you need to, but always come through when the final decision is made,” Merrill says.
Cut the gossip
You might think your boss made a horrible decision, but you probably don’t know all the factors that played into that choice. Quit complaining with coworkers behind your manager’s back, and instead focus your energy on finding success with that strategy. “Without understanding the tradeoffs, you’re becoming part of the problem instead of part of the solution,” Peterson says. Here are some more “innocent” things you do at work that you could end up getting fired for.
Be a copy cat
“We trust people who behave like us more,” Dr. Zak says. “We most naturally do this kind of by mimicking behavior.” When you’re talking to your boss, subtly copy his or her body language. For instance, if your boss leans back or crosses his or her legs, wait a few seconds and do the same, Dr. Zak says. Just avoid these 15 things your boss wishes you would stop saying.