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How to Get Your New Boss to Like You

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By Nikki Bosma

Having a good relationship with your boss might not be your biggest priority when starting a new job, but as time progresses in the role you’ll be grateful if your boss has a positive impression of you. Not only will it make it easier to get a bonus or promotion, or even time off, it also improves your chances of getting a letter of recommendation when you decide to move on and work elsewhere.

On top of all that, your boss is likely to be far more forgiving of any mistakes if they get on with you. So, unless you’re lucky enough to work for yourself, it’s really important you follow these six simple steps to getting your boss to like you.

Get to know their communication style

At first, it can be a challenge to understand someone else’s communication style, especially when entering the workplace after university, as conversations can no longer be as casual as if you were talking to friends. Your boss will probably set the tone for your correspondence, so make sure you don’t answer too casually to a formal email. However, there is always an opportunity to go a little out of your way to be friendly. Keep it polite, professional, but also personable.

Don’t make promises you can't keep

Seems easy right? Then why is it that so many employers still make promises to their boss they can’t keep? Although it’s probably because they want to make a good impression, and to show their boss they can take on extra responsibilities, it’s only going to have a negative impact if you can’t keep your promises. Your boss needs to know they can rely on you, so sometimes it’s better to say no to extra responsibilities and make sure you finish your own work first. It shows you have set your priorities right, and your boss will appreciate that.

Don’t make complaints, make requests

Instead of complaining about the things you don’t like, try to come up with ways to change it. Don’t start criticizing something in a meeting by saying how bad it is; instead, show some initiative and say something like, “I would like it better if we do things like this from now on”. By doing this, you will show you care about your work and have the passion to push through positive changes.

Get to know their priorities

In the end, your job is about meeting the priorities of your boss. Maybe some things are not at the top of your list, but if it’s a priority for your boss, then you better make sure it becomes a priority for you as well. To get to know their priorities, make sure you talk to your boss regularly.  Ask them if you can offer any help (providing you have the time to do so). This will show your boss how motivated you are.

Command real respect

Sometimes getting your boss to like you means you have to put your own opinion aside, but that doesn’t mean you need to suck up to them every time they say or do something. They’ll think of you much more positively if you command real respect. The easiest way to do this is to stick by your principles when it matters, make sure you’re good at your job, don’t gossip about your colleagues and accept criticism. Respect yourself, and your boss will respect you too.

Remember: you don’t have to be best friends with your boss

Of course, it’s important to have a good relationship with your boss, but you don’t have to be best friends with them. They don’t need to know every detail about you or your personal life, so be smart and don’t send them a friend request on Facebook. Save yourself from the uncomfortable situation where you call in sick on a Monday and your boss can see all your party photos from the weekend…

This article was written by Nikki Bosma from

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