Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to impress your boss without looking like a brown-nose in front of your co-workers (because nobody likes “that guy”).
It’s all fine to go about your daily work activities as instructed, but there are plenty of ways to go above and beyond and set yourself apart from the rest:
- Know your boss.
It’s hard to impress someone if you don’t know what makes them tick. So, if you haven’t already, start paying attention to your boss’s behaviour, their preferences and their responses to different kinds of scenarios.
You’re looking specifically for things and actions that seem to appeal to and impress them. For instance, if you see the boss respond positively or negatively to a co-worker who stood up to them and challenged their decision, you gain a better sense of what he/she values.
- Stretch Yourself.
Most people plan to do the work they are assigned and work reasonably hard. However, what really impresses a boss is where people go above and beyond and stretch themselves to achieve something out of the ordinary. When your manager assigns you a pile of work with the expectation that it will be completed in a week, those who stretch themselves complete the work in three days. Some people worry that if they stretch once, their manager will expect that performance level every week, but never stretching yourself conceals from your manager what you truly can accomplish. Be willing to stretch yourself on some assignments. However, you can let your boss know that to accomplish this stretch goal, you went above and beyond expectations. Doing this will demonstrate to your boss what is possible.
- Consistently Deliver Expected Results
Many people assume that if they occasionally deliver expected results, that will be good enough. However, it is those who consistently deliver results that makes an impression in their manager’s mind. There was a fascinating interview with the actor Will Smith where he talks about being on a treadmill in a gym and someone is next to him working out. Smith is so competitive that he says that he will die before he gets off the treadmill first. While that seems like an overreaction, what would your manager think if he knew how far you would go to deliver your expected results? When you’re consistent about delivering results with no excuses, it can significantly impact how your boss perceives you.
- Take More Initiative.
When you finish an assignment, do you wait to be told what to do next? Or do you look to see what needs to be done? Those who take initiative see the mess and clean it up; they see and take care of a problem before it occurs and the good part is, those actions get noticed. When your boss must ask you to help clean up the mess, you get no extra credit.
- Solve a Problem.
It is interesting how long people will put up with things that need fixing: a leaking tap, an inefficient procedure, a process that could be automated but is still manual. There are a thousand things in every organization that needs fixing, but the average person does the work inefficiently and then complains about how the job is dumb. Solve a difficult problem; fix something and your name will always be associated with the new, improved solution.
- Set the Example of High Performance For Others.
It is always nice to have an employee who performs well, but what is better is an employee who encourages others to also perform well. Often, they do this by their example when others are not looking. It is also done by the attitude, encouragement, and enthusiasm they bring to work. Working alongside someone who hates their job and does the bare minimum is discouraging and draining but working with an enthusiastic person who loves what they do makes the journey enjoyable.
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