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Being successful within an organization is not only about leadership but also about followership. No respectful or successful leader is in that position without ever finding themselves in the follower’s spot as well. It means that, even in the follower position, you can manage your business relationships for the betterment of everyone involved. But to get there, you need to man up. And to do that, however, you will also need to assess yourself and your superiors successfully.

You need to take responsibility for your attitudes, choices, and actions. You need to do what has to be done, while keeping your values intact. Being able to assess yourself and your superiors favourably can get you a long way in managing your business relationship. Luckily, however, this process requires only three simple steps:

Assessing the Boss

To build and maintain a good relationship with your superiors, you first need to know who you are dealing with. What are their work style and their personality? How do your superiors interact with others and how do they take their information? How do they prefer to communicate – in person, over the phone, via email, etc.?

What are their goals, priorities, concerns, challenges, and pressures? What is their overall experience and how did they get to where they are now? These are all great questions that need answering before you can honestly assess your superiors.

Being able to assess yourself and your superiors favourably can get you a long way in managing your business relationship.

Assess Yourself

Like many of us know, it’s always easier to judge and analyze others. But to accurately assess yourself, you will need to be brutally honest with yourself concerning who you really are, what are your workplace strengths and weaknesses, and what you truly want and need. Granted that these questions are not as easy to answer as they may first appear, the results are well worth the effort and honesty.

And like is the case with your superiors, you also need to figure out your role within the relationship. Aside from the questions mentioned above about yourself, also go deeper concerning work style personality. How do you like interacting with others and how do you prefer to communicate. What are your goals, priorities, as well as your nonnegotiables? In what areas do you compete with your superior and in what areas you do not? Is your boss difficult with only you or with everyone else?

Recommended: The Compelling Case for Self-Awareness

Assess Your Willingness to Succeed

The last piece of the puzzle is assessing your willingness to make things happen. To create, manage, and maintain successful relationships with your superiors, you will need to deploy a series of adaptive strategies. In other words, you are the one that needs to be willing and able to adapt.

Ask yourself the questions that matter

So, to assess your willingness, ask yourself the following questions. Do you like the job and the organization? Does the job satisfy you financially and does it serve for experience or career development? Is this position making you happier or more stressed? Are you willing to change your attitude and behaviour?

Even though there are plenty of questions that need answering in all three situations presented here, they will help you make a clear picture of what direction you want and need to take.

Do you want to continue on this path or are you going to look for better prospects? Do you want to improve your relationship with your superiors or do you even lack the willingness to try? If you have further questions about this topic, let’s connect on or

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