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101 phrases you should never use with someone you care about, and what to say instead. Click the image to learn more from the Amazon page.

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How to Improve Your Relationships With Your Boss/Manager

Everyone Benefits From a Better Manager-Employee Relationship

Thorny Situations Q&A  

Boss Management - Get Your Ideas Across To The Boss By Robert Bacal


My boss isn't particularly receptive to new ideas regarding how to improve things around here.  I have tried to approach her several times with very practical improvement ideas, and one time she just seemed bored and uninterested, the other time she started shaking her head after the first sentence I said, and was very unhelpful. Many of us here want to make things better, but it's just like running into a brick wall.  Is there way to make her listen? 


The short answer is NO. Actually, the long answer is NO, too. You can't make her listen so you need to make it worthwhile for her to listen, from HER perspective. 

Think of yourself as a very low-pressure salesperson.  When you approach the boss with a good idea you need to state right at the beginning, how that idea will help her. 

Next time you want to approach her, take a few minutes to answer the question "What is driving my boss nuts". Now, figure out how your idea will reduce her frustration.  That's what you start with. Here's a little example:   

"Mary-Anne, you mentioned last week that you were getting frustrated at the amount of time you have to spend on [whatever]. I think I have a solution for you [short explanation of your idea].  I've done a little research and jotted down a few cost estimates--it shouldn't cost much.  I do see a small difficulty with [explain small problem], but I think I know how to get around that. Do you want to give it a try? "

Notice in the example we: 

  • .linked our idea to the boss's needs and frustrations 
  • .did some research before approaching the boss 
  • .indicated we had thought about possible problems 

Keep in mind that while you may think your idea is better than fresh rye bread, other people may have a different perspective on it, so it's UP TO YOU to present that idea in a convincing way. 

Bacal & Associates publishes a helpcard with many more tips on managing the boss so you get heard and establish credibility. Click here for more information and free samples.

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Established in 1992, Bacal & Associates is a small training, consulting and publishing company with a core business centering around all aspects of communication, including helping deal effectively with conflict, dealing with difficult people, and dealing with hostile customers.

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