Many of us spend our days working side-by-side with our supervisors (hello, open floor plans), while others only get to see the higher powers every once in a while. No matter how much time you spend with your boss, it’s only natural to want to stay on his good side. But if you have limited time or usually just see him in passing, these surefire tips will always keep you in good graces.
1. Stand tall.
When you go to talk to your boss or just see him in the hallway, stand tall (in a natural way), pull your shoulders back and hold your head up. This conveys confidence and competence, according to body language expert Carol Goman.
2. Stop by just to say “hey.”
Men do it all the time. Assuming he’s not deep in the middle of a time-sensitive task, pop in and ask how his weekend was or if he’s read a recent article that’s relevant to your work (offer to send it to him if he hasn’t). It’s an easy way to stay top-of-mind.
3. Listen, listen, listen.
Whenever you ask your boss a question, whether it’s work-related or about the latest presidential debate, really listen to what he has to say. Goman adds that leaning forward or nodding your head are also nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention. Whatever you do, do not look at your phone. Reminder: you are with your boss.
It is such a simple act—and yet we often forget to do it. A smile says, “I’m happy to see you.” And what boss doesn’t want to feel that sentiment?
5. Offer a solution, not a problem.
Your boss hears problems all day. Think about an internal process that could be improved, or a new client that you want to lock down. The 30-second part: Next time you’re in the elevator together or you’re in a meeting where an opportunity comes along, pitch it. Even if it’s not the most perfectly fleshed out, turn-key idea she’s ever heard, she’ll appreciate the effort. We promise.