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"My Boss works 30 minutes away and we have not developed any type of working relationship.... "
I manage a small office. My boss works in a larger office
30 minutes away. He comes down once a month to visit. However, he mostly
converses with the staff while he is here and then spends 10 minutes
with me. I've never felt comfortable around him because he works 30
minutes away and we have not developed any type of working relationship.
He referred to me as 'curt' with people because I give him one or two-word
answers when he is in town. It took me by surprise. I don't know him
at all, that makes it difficult for me to tell him what he wants to
hear. I don't know what he wants to hear. How can I work this thing
I suggest you develop a working relationship real fast if you want to keep your job...
You don't have to be 'cozy' but you would be wise to treat your Boss more kindly and with more respect. From the tone of your letter, you have quite a bit of work to do to improve your social skills; but they are essential for your survival. My advice is that you need to cultivate a positive working relationship with your Boss. He is your most important 'client' whether you recognize it or not.
Even though he's not physically present most of the time, you should be doing your best to communicate with him -- by email, by phone and especially in person. Your present job depends on you being able to deliver what your Boss wants. How can you know that if you don't take the opportunity to really talk to him? One and two word answers don't qualify as 'talking'.
So what do you have to talk about? Lots... you are managing the office, so I would guess that you have a long agenda of items to review with him about meeting budgets, deadlines, personnel issues etc. Every meeting you have with him is a chance for you to let him know what a good job you're doing -- or where you need help -- and hopefully lighten the day with a little humor and good cheer. But don't just confine your discussion to business. You should be sharing with him some details about your life, your hopes and ambitions. And encourage him to talk about his life too. Go slow at first, but just let a few tidbits about yourself drop in conversation. Perhaps a restaurant you enjoyed, a sporting event you attended, or a hobby you enjoy. It will humanize you, and make your interactions better. This is what 'salesguys' are famous for doing -- and you need to sell your ideas, and your opinions, to your Boss.
Remember business isn't just business. It's personal. We prefer to do business with people who share our values -- and who we like. If you can improve your social skills, you may just have a long and happy career ahead of you.
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