These are some of the "nicer" terms of what we like to call coworkers that stroke our boss' ego to a high degree. "Butt kissers" are known to be extreme in their behavior, and are constantly looking for ways to overly impress the boss to gain respect, rewards, and perks. While I do not fully condone this type of behavior, I have to admit that the idea of "butt kissing" has a little value. I don't think that an employee should be fake and do the utmost in impressing their boss, but I do believe that an employee should look to make a good impression and build a relationship with their supervisor. While you are avoiding spending extra time with your boss because you think it will make you look like a "butt kisser", your coworker is in the office with your boss building a relationship that can possibly get them far. They are not only doing their work, but they are taking time out to establish a unique bond with the head person in charge.
If you are serious about your career and professional development, you cannot let your personal ego of not looking like a "butt kisser" get in the way of your grind. If you are thinking that working hard to build a relationship with your boss is pointless and that you work ethic will speak loud enough on its own, you are sadly mistaken. Change your mindset and think more like a strategic, well-rounded employee.
I once had a coworker that would always go visit our former boss a couple of times a week to 'just talk.' He would ask our boss about his day, his family, how his weekend went, his plans for the upcoming weekend, and other random things. As a current boss, I admit that managers are just as human as other people; in other words, we don't want to talk about work ALL the time. Sometimes as a boss, I feel closer to my staff when they talk to me about things other than work and I feel that we are building a relationship.
There were also times when my coworker would talk to our boss about things work/career related. He would bring up his work experience and passions, and would get our boss' advice on meeting his goals. Personally, I have done that plenty of times. In the company that I work for, many of our high-level professionals do not work in my same office, so unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of meeting them in person. Nonetheless, I have never let distance or a lack of a face-to-face introduction keep me from networking and building important relationships.
Recently I decided that I needed to get to know more people in my company, just in case I ever wanted to go up for a promotion or just needed advice. I looked on my company's directory and found the emails for people that I wanted to connect with and learn from. After that, I sent a personalized email to each person and introduced myself, and also mentioned that I wanted to learn more about what they did. After they replied back to me, I emailed them back and asked if I could steal about 15 minutes of their time to further chat and learn more about them. I emailed about four people in my company and I received a positive response back from each. If you want something, you have to go after it and you cannot be timid.
Besides reaching out to people that I didn't know in my company to network with, I have also reached out to my own boss countless of times. I have met with my boss on several occasions to just chat and to also discuss my future goals and things I wanted to learn. I know the idea of 'popping in your boss' office to talk' may seem intimidating at first, or even a little weird. Honestly, it won't be weird unless you make it. Try to not think so hard about it and just use your voice and genuinely talk. Being courageous and open-minded in building a relationship with my boss wasn't something that I've always done. When I first started out in my career, I would stay in my office, with my head glued to my computer screen, trying to look and be productive. I wasn't focused on talking to my boss more than I should, or going to visit my them unless a meeting was penciled in on my agenda. I think that alone was what my problem was: I needed a perfect agenda for everything in order to make a move. Getting over this has not only landed me promotions, but it has also helped me network with others, and I have been able to build a valuable relationship with my boss.
So what can you do to build a relationship with your boss? Here are a few things that I suggest:
1.) Regularly check-in with your boss to just 'say hi.'
-Whether it is once a week or once every two weeks, take time to sit down with him or her to just chat about work-related and non-work-related items.
2.) Suggest to your boss about having a monthly informal performance review.
-Some companies only have yearly performance reviews. While a good boss meets with his or her employees informally or formally more than once a year, an even better employee will regularly seek performance feedback as well.
3.) Reach out to your boss to grab lunch with you.
-Connecting with others through good food is common. Eating lunch with your boss will not only take them out of the workplace, but it will also allow you to connect with him or her in a different atmosphere.
4.) Take initiative to learn more about what they do.
-I firmly believe that a well-rounded and more marketable employee is someone that knows more than what they were paid to do. In other words, if you are in marketing, you will be more of a well-rounded employee if you know about HR or Operations. Learning more skills will not only make your company look good, but it will make you look even better. Talk to your boss and ask them to teach you what they know. If they are like me, they will feel overjoyed and like they are making a difference.
What are some of the other ways to build a relationship with your boss? Share your thoughts below!