11 simple ways to make your boss love you

Every manager and every workplace is different, but speaking generally, the best way to get your boss to like you is to do great work.

That said, if you’re looking to really bowl them over — and potentially even become their favorite team member — there are a few simple strategies you can use.

Business Insider looked into scientific research and expert opinion and came up with 11 tricks to help you wow the higher-ups.

Boss

Try to solve problems on your own

In his 1948 book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” Dale Carnegie includes an anecdote about Leon Shimkin, who was then a general manager at publishing house Simon and Schuster.

Shimkin told Carnegie that he’d devised a way to drastically cut meeting times: He informed his team that they couldn’t present any problems unless they’d first tried to think of a solution.

Impress your boss with your problem-solving skills (and spare everyone from hearing you drone on) and only bring dilemmas to meetings when they’ve proven absolutely unsolvable.

Always demonstrate your value to the company

Your boss doesn’t need to hear about how you want a promotion because you want a more prestigious title. If you’re asking for anything — a title bump, a raise, or more responsibility — show how it will benefit your boss, and the organization as a whole.

As counterintelligence expert Robin Dreeke previously told Business Insider, you always want to ask yourself: “How can I inspire them to want me?” Sometimes it’s not enough to do stellar work. If you want your boss to love you, you’ll have to demonstrate how you’re critical to their personal success — and the company’s.

Tweak your communication style to match theirs

Again, part of your job is to make your boss’ job easier.

As professor Michael Watkins told the Harvard Business Review, it’s on you to find out early on how your manager prefers to communicate. Is it Slack? Email? Face-to-face conversations? And how often should you check in?

Watkins also said that if there’s a mismatch between your style and your boss’ style — for example, one of you prefers to check in more often — it’s important to have an open conversation about that.

Ask for advice

You might be wary of asking your boss anything — whether it’s how they got to this point in their career or which marketing strategy they think you should go with.

But research from Harvard Business School suggests that asking for advice doesn’t make you look stupid — it can make you seem more competent, which is presumably how you want your boss to see you.

In one experiment, 170 university students worked on a series of computer tasks and were told they would be matched with a partner who would complete the same tasks. (The partner was really a computer simulation.) When they’d finished the tasks, the “partner” either said, “I hope it went well” or “I hope it went well. Do you have any advice?”

As it turns out, students who’d been asked for advice rated their “partner” more competent than those who hadn’t been asked for advice.

Remember, too: It’s better to ask for their advice than their opinion. As psychologist Robert Cialdini previously told Business Insider, asking for advice creates a partnership between you and your boss and encourages them to be more supportive of your idea.

On the other hand, when you ask for their opinion, they take a step back and become more of an objective evaluator.

Get to work early

Research from the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington suggests that employees who get into the office early are generally perceived by their managers as more conscientious and receive higher performance ratings than employees who arrive later.

And it doesn’t matter if those who get in later stay later, too.

If you feel that you’d be more productive working from, say, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., consider explaining the situation to your manager and confronting their potential “morning bias” head-on.

Manage up

“Managing up” is a term for learning what your boss really cares about and making sure you deliver on that.

As Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of software company Likable Local, previously told Business Insider, “It’s about helping your manager look great to his or her manager. And ultimately by doing that you’re going to position yourself better for success.”

Kerpen expects his team at Likeable Local to manage up to him. For example, he doesn’t care that his head of marketing shows up late almost every day — as long as she’s on time Monday morning, delivering a great report at the company-wide meeting.

Kerpen recommends either asking your boss directly what’s important to them or subtly trying to figure it out on your own.

Set stretch goals

Leadership-development consultancy Zenger/Folkman spent more than five years collecting upward of 50,000 360-degree evaluations on more than 4,000 individual employees.

According to their findings, there’s one behavior that can make employees stand out (to their boss and the rest of their coworkers): Setting stretch goals.

In other words, Zenger/Folkman execs write in The Harvard Business Review, top employees “set — and met — stretch goals that went beyond what others thought were possible.”

Interestingly, most people didn’t realize that high goals were so important, suggesting that setting stretch goals is meaningful because it’s not expected.

Pay attention to detail

If you consider yourself more of a big-picture person, you’d best start attending to the small stuff, too.

Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, wrote in a LinkedIn post that at his company, “even what seems like a small technical glitch can end up affecting a lot of clients in a short period of time. An employee who can be trusted to catch such small errors truly begins to stand out among the crowd.”

Say ‘thanks’

Expressing gratitude for your boss’ feedback — even if it’s negative — can make them feel warmer toward you, according to a 2011 study from the University of Southern California.

In one experiment, about 200 undergrads were told that they had been assigned a partner and were supposed to review a draft of instructions the partner had written about how to assemble parts of equipment. (In reality, there was no partner and the instructions had been written by the experimenter.)

Some participants were told they were the supervisor in this relationship; others were told they were the subordinate. In addition, all participants took a pretend test of their abilities and some were told they weren’t that competent.

When the experimenter returned notes from the “partners,” some said, “I just wanted to let you know that I received your feedback on my draft.” Others said the same thing, along with, “Thank you so much! I am really grateful.”

As it turns out, participants in the supervisor position who’d been told they weren’t that competent were nicer when their partners were grateful.

When their partners weren’t grateful, the supervisors whose competence had been threatened were more likely to respond by denigrating those partners, saying they were unintelligent, incapable, and incompetent. You might say gratitude prevented the threatened supervisors from acting like jerks.

Take a vacation

According to analysis by Oxford Economics for Project: Time Off, workers who take all their vacation time are 6.5% more likely to get a promotion or a raise than those who leave over at least 11 days of paid vacation time.

Of course, that doesn’t mean taking a vacation directly causes you to get a promotion — it could be the case that better workers feel they’re more entitled to a vacation.

But as Shawn Achor, author and CEO of GoodThink, Inc., writes in The Harvard Business Review, these findings do suggest that working yourself to death doesn’t necessarily lead to success.

“The extra face time doesn’t help you,” Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off, told The Boston Globe. “There’s something to this ‘refreshed thinking,’ too. Vacations allow you to be more creative.'”

It’s hard to imagine that your boss wouldn’t appreciate your increased creativity post-break.

Speak up

Don’t hide your opinions from your coworkers.

Jenna Lyons, president and executive creative director of J. Crew Group Inc., told Motto that she advises people to share their perspectives: “I find it impossible to understand where a person stands if they don’t join the conversation.”

Don’t be afraid of looking stupid, either. As Lyons said, you should “never be afraid to pitch an idea; we all have good ones, and we all have bad ones.”

This article and any associated images were originally published here:
http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-to-make-your-boss-love-you-2016-4/#speak-up-11

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36 questions that can make two people fall in love?

I’ve seen a number of articles about the ’36 questions’ that can make two people fall in love.  I’ve even watched a Ted talk on it!  It’s an interesting idea… one of the articles mentioned that the main intention/outcome is to build intimacy, so the exercise can be practiced with friends and family as well as potential or actual lovers.

Certainly spending the time to get to really know someone does help to build trust and intimacy, and I imagine knowing the answers of these questions at an early stage of a new relationship will probably accelerate that process.

Will you give it a go?

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Set III

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling …”

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

These questions were taken from this article:
http://uk.businessinsider.com/asapscience-36-questions-strangers-fall-love-2017-6?utm_content=bufferc085d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer-bi&r=US&IR=T

Sociopath-Psychopath Awareness

Did you know that an estimated 4% of the population have no conscience?  That means 1 in 25 people have no feelings of guilt or remorse, that thing that often keeps your behaviour in check.  They also feel no love or empathy for others.

Apparently sociopaths (for me ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’ are interchangeable terms) are masters of understanding and mimicking human emotions.  So if a sociopath plays their cards right, you’ll never know that something is amiss.

Many psychopaths have a superficial charm and are good with words, things that make them seem very attractive.  They also don’t feel fear, making them appear to be very calm even under very stressful situations.  Every once in a while, you might notice a little discrepancy in their expression of emotions.  Something just doesn’t quite feel right.  They also can be deceitful, impulsive, parasitic and pathological liars.

Many people associate ‘psychopaths’ with those people who kill their mothers or are mass murderers.  But killing isn’t every psychopath’s cup of tea (and even if it is, they wouldn’t feel guilty about doing it).  Just like everyone else, psychopaths are individuals who have different wants and needs in life.  Many will just want to live a normal life and work.  Quite likely you already know some psychopaths but have no idea of what they really are.  So what’s the problem if some people have fewer emotions than others if they’re not likely to try and kill you anytime soon?

There are many other potential issues bar imminent death, including financial issues, emotional issues and being taken advantage of.  The problem is that many sociopaths will have no problem with manipulating others for their own benefit.  Most people would feel guilty for using or manipulating someone, sociopaths will not.  Manipulation can be subtle, you probably won’t even realise when it’s happening.

And it will especially become a problem in your life if you inadvertently end up in a relationship with someone who suffers no remorse or guilt.  Like that poor frog being boiled in a pan, you won’t know what’s happened to you until it’s far too late.  This kind of relationship is a form of emotional abuse and it will follow a pattern: love bombing, idealisation, devaluation and discarding.  They’ll make you fall in love with all that charm and all the right words, love will be blind so nothing else in the world will matter, and then you’ll end up in a really weird alternate universe where the person you love obviously really loves you, except for all the lying and cheating… and you’ll find yourself wondering why you don’t just leave… but you can’t, because you’re convinced this is real love.  In the mean time, your partner is probably eyeing up his next victim to take advantage of.

Anyway, my point was, that everyone should educate themselves on psychopaths.  Unfortunately, I have been that frog in the boiling pan, and I wish so much that I had known about psychopaths before I fell in love with one.  It didn’t even occur to me that there are people who fake their emotions and don’t feel guilt or remorse.  As a normal human, you just assume that everyone has the same range of emotions as you do.  That just isn’t the case.

Whether this behaviour is ringing bells for you or not, whether you think you might know a psychopath or not, my advice is the same.  Find out more, and be prepared for the day a psychopath crosses your path.  Ideally, you should just avoid these people and keep them out of your life.  But if it’s a family member, your colleague or even your boss, avoidance might not be an option.  So the next best thing is to know the score and try to keep an upper hand through awareness.

There’s absolutely loads of information on the internet.  I also found the following books very helpful (with links):

‘The Sociopath Next Door’ by Martha Stout (very good overview)

‘202 Ways to Spot a Psychopath in Personal Relationships’ by Adelyn Birch (specific to relationships)

‘Psychopath Free’ by Jackson MacKenzie (aimed for those recovering from toxic relationships, but also very informative)

It’s also important to be aware of your personal boundaries, so you realise when someone is actually pushing your boundaries and potentially being manipulative.  I found this book particularly helpful for that:

‘Boundaries After a Pathological Relationship’ by Adelyn Birch (also beneficial to avoid such relationships)

Wishing you a psychopath-free day!

Stoicism with video links

I didn’t really know much about what stoicism is, so I thought I’d have a little look into it. It’s a philosophy that works to control negative emotions, like anger and anxiety, by changing expectations and being aware of what is and isn’t under your control.

Interestingly, it has similarities with Buddhism, such as encouraging mindfulness.

Here are some great videos that provide further explanation:

PHILOSOPHY – The Stoics (5 minutes)

Stoicism in 6 minutes (6 minutes!)

10 Themes of Stoicism (15 minutes – interesting but a bit monotone, good for background listening)

‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss – book review

Having recently written about Tim Ferriss’ TED talk about Fear Setting, I thought it might be a good time to write about his awesome book ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’.  This book is about setting up systems of passive income and ways to save time by outsourcing, and how ultimately you could be working a mere 4 hours per week with all the income you need.

4-hour-workweek-tim-ferriss-book.pngI love the idea of passive income and becoming financially free (where your passive income exceeds your expenses so you don’t have to work at all).  Although the norm is to be employed and work 9-5, it’s refreshing to know there is an alternative way to living life.  If you can achieve it.

Ferriss put in a lot of hard work in setting up his business, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  Having spent many hours on maintaining his business, he found ways of ‘stepping out’ and outsourcing so that things could run well without him.  This includes spending money to save your own time and effort, for example by using Virtual Assistants or outsourcing your business’ customer services needs to a call centre.

The book discusses potential business ideas, products, finances and provides many recommendations on how to get started and companies that can assist.

As well as offering lots of time-management solutions, this book is really inspiring for those who would contemplate making the leap to have a life with more free time to travel or do whatever they love.  Or maybe even keep their full-time job and start a side-hustle for some extra income.

I have a friend who started a side-hustle in selling electronic equipment (that he loves) worldwide, mainly for fun and to pursue his own hobby.  It turned out to be so successful that he left his job in the city, moved to Turkey with his wife and kids and now lives in a beautiful home in the sun and runs his business from home.  I don’t know if he actually read this book, but this is the kind of book that would propel this kind of business to be streamlined and make as much money as quickly and with as little effort as possible.

Ferriss’ strengths are in making complicated processes simple, finding the easiest and most efficient ways to achieve the desired results.  The prospect of starting your own business can certainly be daunting, but a bit of guidance and some successful examples can be all the inspiration you need.

Fortunately, this book probably won’t leave you quitting your job the next day, but it will leave you full of ideas of all the things you could do and achieve if you were willing to step out of the box.

You can find out more about the ‘4-Hour Workweek’ by Tim Ferriss by clicking here.

 

Define your fears instead of your goals – Tim Ferriss TED Talk

I didn’t realise that Tim Ferriss, writer of the ‘4-Hour Workweek’, had contemplated suicide when he was 19 years old, or that he suffered from bouts of depression.  I have a lot of respect for Tim and his book that, in a way, focuses on making life more simple and encouraging people to consider a different type of working lifestyle.  One that doesn’t involve spending most of your week at the office.

tim-ferriss-ted-talkIn this Ted Talk, Tim speaks about a written exercise called ‘Fear Setting’ and analysing the worst case scenarios for things you are worried about doing.  By looking at the potential things that could go wrong, you can consider what can be done to prevent or repair these problems.

By writing this out, you can get a more realistic overview of how obvious pitfalls can be avoided or that the worst case scenario may not be as bad as you think.  The exercise also includes looking at the benefits of partial success and the cost of taking no action at all further down the line.  This process helped him to take a life-changing trip and later write the 4 Hour Work Week book.

There are three parts to the exercise, which should be written out and are described in detail in the video:

1. What if I…?

  • Define what you fear and what could go wrong
    e.g. go on holiday and miss a tax letter
  • Prevent – how can you prevent or decrease the likelihood of this?
    e.g. change the address at the tax office, so letters go directly to your accountant
  • Repair – if the worst case scenario happened, how could you undo the damage?
    e.g. speak to a friend who is a lawyer about how to resolve the situation

2. What might be the benefits of an attempt or partial success?

3. The cost of inaction – emotionally, physically, financially, etc.

  • After 6 months
  • After 12 months
  • After 3 years

In this way, you are having to think about not only the negative outcomes and how to avoid them, but also the potential short-term and long-term benefits.  Tim also mentions stoic philosophy, and how sometimes difficult decisions and conversations need to take place to progress in life.

The Ted Talk video can be seen here:
https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_why_you_should_define_your_fears_instead_of_your_goals#t-844802

If you want to find out more about the ‘4-Hour Workweek’ book, you can click on this link.

‘Be Your Own Life Coach’ by Fiona Harrold

I read this book when I was around 20 years old and it had a major positive impact.  It made me think about my own ‘self talk’ for the first time, and I realised how negative and harsh I was with myself.  I still have the book now, over ten years later.

Life-coach-book.pngIt’s easy to read, down-to-earth and full of positivity.  The biggest thing I took away from this book was to treat myself as a good friend.  Instead of beating yourself up over something or always focussing on the negative, be kind to yourself.  Like yourself as a person.

You know when a good friend goes through something ‘bad’ like a break up?  You take the time to make them feel better and reassure them that they are wonderful and everything will be ok.  You don’t beat them up about it or tell them that they deserved it and they were an awful partner.  You’re nice and supportive to your good friends, so be nice and supportive to yourself too.

This is the first ‘self improvement’ book that I remember reading and having an impact on me.  It discusses self-confidence, self-reliance, work and what you want from life.  I also recommended it to a friend who loved it just as much as I did and says that she refers back to it every once in a while.

Sadly, there is no manual to life, but it’s good to know that there are resources available to us for improving our lives and the way we see ourselves.

You can find out more about ‘Be Your Own Life Coach’ by Fiona Harrold by clicking here.