- Ask how their best employees communicate with them. Listen very carefully. Take notes. Emulate.
- Always send weekly status reports, whether they are requested or not. Even if your manager does not appear to use them, you will use them to track your progress and as input for your evaluations.
- Watch closely to learn your manager’s rhythms, best and worst times of day, times of the week and try to catch them at peak times. Try to schedule meetings with them when you know they tend to be in a better mood.
- Track your manager’s starting and ending times of day. Try to match it or stay a bit later or come in a bit earlier. You manager will like seeing you there!
- Try to pre-empt or resolve conflict in the group before it even gets to your manager. Try to work things out with your peers. Collaboration and compromise are the winning strategies! At some point, discuss your conflict resolution successes with your manager; they will be appreciated.
- Give as much advance notice as possible. If you know you’ll be going to your family spring reunion each year, let your manager know months in advance. If you know your kids will be home for summer and you’ll want a few Fridays off, openly ask in advance. Surprises are not appreciated and when you build a track record of early notification you’ll be building trust.
- Be a supporter; be an honest fan. When a new person joins the team, speak up about the positive qualities of your manager. You can be selective in what you say, don’t lie, but try to be a support if you can. They will often find that out and appreciate it.
- Think through how you would like to be treated if you were the manager. Make a list and try to do everything on that list! And if you are a manager, kindly ask your direct reports for feedback and listen to areas you can improve in; especially if you hear the same thing from two or more people.