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A strenuous relationship with the boss is why most people quit their jobs. Could there be so many bad bosses out there, or what else is happening here? Meaningful relationships with superiors play a crucial role in both career success as well as the well-being of the organization. You will first have to learn an even more important strategy to achieve this goal. How do we manage those whose responsibility is to manage us?

There are treasure troves of material regarding the issue of managing and maintaining good relationships with those beneath us. But when it comes to building meaningful relationships with superiors, the information is somewhat lacking. Knowing how to manage up and how to be a successful follower are incredibly useful skills to have.

Since time immemorial, people have been drawn to the idea of leadership and taking charge of a given situation. As a society, we promote the idea of great leadership on almost every channel we communicate and entertain ourselves. But leadership cannot get very far without the other side of the coin – namely, following.

And while most are particularly resistant to the idea of being a follower, the fact is that almost nobody is exempt from it. Even CEOs need to take on the role of a follower now and again, meaning that everyone has a boss at one time or another.

Building Meaningful Relationships with Superiors by Learning to Follow

Learning to become a good follower and develop meaningful relationships with superiors is not what some people expect. These skills are not about sucking up to people or brown-nosing your way to the top. It is all about knowing how to create and manage these relationships for the betterment of everyone involved, including the company itself.

Being a good follower is all about knowing how to create and manage relationships for the betterment of everyone involved, including the company

In other words, this is a deliberate and ongoing process of increasing vertical communication and cooperation within a hierarchical chain of command. Managing and maintaining meaningful relationships with superiors is taking charge. In other words, it’s leadership through being a good follower.

Recommended: Do People Want to Work for You?

Why Does It Matter?

For starters, creating healthy and productive working relationships is one of the most effective ways of accelerating your success as an individual and the organization’s success as a whole.

It’s also important to realize that people are who they are and are unlikely to change because we want them to. If you want to strike meaningful relationships with your superiors, you must change your strategy. You need to know what makes them tick and then adapt yourself to create a more versatile relationship. In other words, you can’t control their actions, but you can control yours.

Lastly, it’s also your bottom line that you need to look out for. If your relationship with your superior takes a wrong turn, nine times out of ten, your career will suffer. With this in mind, your role in this relationship is to provide your boss with performance and results and learn the essence of being a good follower.

Three choices in difficult situations

When confronted with a difficult situation, we have three choices. We can change, leave, or accept the situation for what it is and adapt to it. If you have further questions about this topic, let’s connect at or

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734