Communication: Keep your friends close and your boss even closer
Communication: Keep your friends close and your boss even closer
Post written by Paragon Interiors   May 22, 2018

Hollywood has not shied away from using bosses as their villain in their box office hits. One of the most memorable boss villains of all time is Miranda Priestly.

In the multimillion-dollar film, Meryl Streep plays Miranda Priestly, the owner, and boss of a highly renowned fashion publication ‘Runway’. Although the movie portrayed Miranda as the selfish, power-obsessed women, with no care for her employees’ feelings or personal life, there were some that saw past her hard exterior and saw the real, human side of a woman who was just doing her job. Maybe you sympathise with the Anne Hathaway’s of the world who are under constant scrutiny by their ‘devilish’ bosses.

In the US the number 1 reason people leave their job is due to their boss. All around the world ‘terrible bosses’ have lead employees to becoming 50% less productive and 44% less profitable (Flaxington, 2013). Its true, at some point in our lives we have come across a difficult boss with poor communications skills or a lack of emotional intelligence. Leaving your job due to your horrible boss can sometimes feel like the only option, however, it is possible to successfully manage upwards to help satisfy your bosses’ needs and your own. But how?

How to manage your boss

  1. Understand how to communicate with your boss

It’s not news to you that everybody in this world is unique, therefore, we all have our own unique ways of communicating. For instance, an extrovert and introvert would likely communicate in very different ways. An extrovert might prefer a more up-front approach while an introvert might be happy with an informative email (Moore, 2016). No… I’m not saying force your boss to complete a Meyer’s Briggs assessment to find out their personality type. Rather, spend some time identifying how your boss prefers to be communicated with. Make time to have a coffee with them. Take the initiative to ask them which way they would like you to communicate with them. Is it through email? Instant message? Face-to-face? Having open communication is vital in understanding one another. It is therefore imperative that you communicate in a way that suits both your boss and yourself.

  1. Understand what motivates your boss

What do you want?’ It’s not always an easy question to answer. However, finding out what motivates your boss can help you work better. Discovering their top priorities means you can help them work towards achieving their goals, keeping them content with your performance and becoming one of their top employees. Organise to meet your boss in an informal setting, perhaps over a cup of coffee and find out more about what they want to achieve. Align your goals with theirs and you can never go wrong (Moore, 2016).

  1. Help support their weaknesses

Hollywood has started to realise that their superheroes can’t do it all. They too need help. Therefore, movies such as the Avengers or Justice League prove that even if you have the best superpowers you can’t always win alone. Everyone, even superheroes, has weaknesses. Some of our bosses may have more weaknesses than others. If you have a disorganised boss, then help them get on top of things. If you have a boss who is often late for meetings, then offer to kick off the next meeting for them. Giving your bosses the support that is needed will help them achieve and they will be grateful to you for it (Flaxington, 2013).

  1. Do the best job you can and stay positive

Having a horrible boss does not mean you should start slacking off, losing interest and producing half-hearted work (Flaxington, 2013). Always do the best you can and be a top performer. You may even get noticed by other bosses who want you to work for them. Respect your work. If your boss is bad, and I mean really bad, sometimes it is hard to keep up a positive façade. There is nothing wrong with complaining to your spouse or family after work. However, when you are at work remember to remain respectful and not to say anything negative about your boss (Rousmaniere, 2015). You don’t know who could be listening.

There are many benefits to working hard to make the employer and employee relationship work. When you make your boss happy and satisfied with your work you are likely to get rewards or be promoted. Managing upwards is important in providing you with increased levels of workplace satisfaction.

Paragon Interiors works hard to ensure the communication pathways between employers and employees are open while going through physical changes in the office. Our Change Management service allows individuals the chance to voice their opinions in a healthy and constructive way.

For more information please contact Paragon Interiors at 011 706 5123


Flaxington, B. D. (2013, April 29). Eight Ways to Manage Up Effectively. Retrieved from Psychology Today : people/201304/eight-ways- manage-

Gay, D. (2016, July 6). Meryl Streep explains why we’re all wrong to think Miranda Priestly is a bad boss. Retrieved
from Vogue: explains-why- were-all- wrong-to-
think-miranda- priestly-is- a-bad- boss/news-story/6fe76896d83f8e07f3140bd6eb92f975

Moore, K. (2016, March 24). Managing Upward: A Key Part Of Being A Really Useful Manager For Your People.
Retrieved from Forbes: a-key-
part-of- being-a- really-useful- manager-for- your-people- 2/#293e02634fd8

Rousmaniere, D. (2015, January 23). What Everyone Should Know About Managing Up. Retrieved from Harvard
Business Review : should-know- about-managing- up