Although we live in an international world in which you can find almost any piece of information you want on the internet, including people’s very personal details, it will actually help you out in your job getting to know your boss personally. LinkedIn and Facebook can only tell you so much about someone and Joe Magee, a professor at New York University´s Stern Business School, says that we should take the time to get to know our boss in order to be successful at work.
He came up with 10 questions that everyone should ask their boss, and here they are...
What was their previous job?
It´s important to know the level of experience you boss has, and in which sectors and/or companies. Many people judge experience on age but they don´t always go hand in hand so it´s better to find out exactly what level of responsibility they´re already used to.
How did they get to this position?
Was your boss promoted internally by default because they were next in line or were they scouted and bought in from the outside? Was the person before them fired or did they quit? This should help you understand what other people in the company think of your boss.
What are their career aspirations?
Where does your boss next see themselves? What is their next step? It´s helpful to know if they´re looking to continue to climb up the recruitment ladder, if they get a promotion that could bump you up the ladder as well!
What does your boss most value in the job?
Is your boss at work just to receive a monthly paycheck or are they genuinely interested in the work they´re doing and the wellbeing of the company?
Where does your boss fit into the company?
Be careful how you word this one but, is your boss a rising star of the company who looks like things are going to keep improving or is it in fact going the opposite direction? Whilst we don´t advise gossiping, maybe try and get a bit of information on this question from other colleagues.
How well does your boss get on with their boss?
This question requires a bit of extra digging as well! There´s no doubts that if your boss has a good relationship with their boss then your relationship is bound to be positive too. If they don´t have a good relationship, what is is that´s causing the negativity and will it affect you in the workplace?
Does your boss look after their team?
Will your boss stick up for you during hard times? Are they the type of boss who´s likely to put your name forward for promotions and moments of praise?
What is their management/leadership style?
Everyone is different and of course we all work in different ways. To avoid conflicts or difficult situations at work it´s important to understand your boss´s working style. Will they be contactly on your back, looking over your shoulder and wanting daily reports/statistics/check-ins? Or do they take a more relaxed approached allowing you to "do your own thing"?
What does your boss value most in projects?
Leading on from the previous question, what does your boss want from you at work? Are they looking for creativity? Quality over quantity? Team work or autonomy? Make sure you find this out early on in order to provide the best results!
What are their hobbies and interests outside of work?
It always helps to know at least a little bit about your boss´s life outside of work, maybe you have a shared interest you didn´t know about. Adding a personal touch to your relationship (whilst still staying professional) creates a better atmosphere. After all, even though you´re at work, it´s almost unhealthy for conversation to be 100% work related!
It´s safe to say that the more you know about your boss, in terms of their values, styles, interests and background, the more successful you will find yourself at work. Whether it´s a quick chat around the water dispenser or a coffee in the kitchen, make sure you get to know your boss!