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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Getting Ahead

8 Ways to Get Closer to Your Boss (Without Crossing Lines)

Bosses can always be a mixed bag. When you’re starting out at a new role, your supervisor could be anywhere from the perfect mentor to a total nightmare. But (hopefully) more often than not, you do get to work a person you both like and admire. And when that happens, you’re suddenly much more invested in strengthening the relationship.

But I get it: That tight line between employee and friend can be hard to walk. To help you avoid crossing that line, I rounded up eight realistic strategies for getting to know your manager a little bit better.

  1. First things first, establish your work relationship. If you’re not doing well as an employee, then unrelated conversations might make you seem like you don’t care about your responsibilities.

  2. Not sure how to make an impression on a big team? Self-advocate so your supervisor knows just how awesome you actually are at your job.

  3. You should also be sure to get on your boss’ good side if you’re not already on it. Otherwise, you could make a bad situation worse.

  4. Serious about developing a better relationship? Take initiative—sometimes you can only have the kinds of conversations you want to have by starting them yourself.

  5. Cheesy, but true: All good partnerships are built off of trust. Your professional ones aren’t any different.

  6. You can also take office milestones, such as performance reviews, as opportunities to be honest and transparent about your interests and goals.

  7. Even better, ask questions on the job. Not only will you learn more about your work, but you’ll also get unique insights.

  8. And finally, keep in mind that it’s not all about small talk. Having a stronger relationship with your boss means it’s that much more important to have the hard conversations.

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