Latina Career Woman
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It doesn’t matter what you do, your boss never seems to be satisfied. In fact, you’re convinced he or she has become the most difficult part about your job and it sucks because you’re actually really good at what you do. But don’t quit just yet, girl. You can still get taken seriously or even land that promotion you’ve been wanting. It’s all about understanding your boss enough so that you’re both happy. We chatted with leadership guru Steve Arneson, author of What Your Boss Really Wants From You and got some solid advice on how to deal with your boss to help you get ahead at work.

Accept that the relationship with your boss is important

Your boss has all the power. The power to hire, fire, promote — you name it! So you want to make sure you not only stay on their good side but develop a relationship with them. “No one else has that type of power over you at work,” says Arneson. Try to figure out their character, working style, likes, and dislikes.

Change your attitude

Your boss is never going to change, you are the one that has to change the dynamics of the relationship. “You have to take responsibility for this relationship or it won’t get better,” says Arneson. “None of us can afford to blindly move through our careers without making some adjustments to other people’s styles and motives. Being open and flexible in changing your own attitude and behaviors is a required skill of working with other people.”

Figure out what kind of boss you have

You can’t make changes if you don’t actually understand what kind of boss you’re dealing with. According to Arneson, there are four common types of bosses: the insecure boss, ego-driven boss, control-freak boss, and career-focused boss. “The career-focused boss is the easiest of these four common boss types to connect and align with, for several reasons. First, while they’re manipulative and "all about themselves, at least their motives are pure,” Arneson says. “They are clear about what they want, so there’s no hidden agenda.”

Find out what you need to know about your boss

Arneson says there are three main things you need to know about your boss in order to change yourself to impact the relationship. First, figure out their motives. In other words, why do they do what they do? Second, figure out what he or she is trying to accomplish in their role and why? Lastly, try to understand what projects or deadlines are causing them stress right now.

Don’t change who you are as a person

There’s a big difference because changing your attitude in order to meet your boss’ needs and changing who you are as a person just to get on your boss’ good side. “No employee should change their approach or style if it violates their personal values,” says Arneson. “Some changes are easy to make but don’t bend your attitude or behavior to fit the boss’ style if it’s going to cause your to go against your own principles or beliefs.”

Find a new boss

Now, if you’ve done your best and still can’t get your boss to meet you half way it might be time to change departments or even jobs. “Don’t live with a stifling boss that isn’t helping you to grow and develop,” says Arneson.