6 Ways to Impress Your Boss

Research tells us that there are clear strategies for impressing our supervisors and getting ahead at work. 

I was recently interviewed on this topic, and here are the questions and answers about impressing your boss:

1. What are some characteristics of the type of employee that would impress their boss?

Have a “can do” attitude. If your boss asks you to do something answer affirmatively. If you find you’re not able to do it, or if you need help, deal with that later, but create the impression that you are someone who can do what the boss needs.

Stay positive. Don’t complain. Don’t look stressed or exasperated. See the glass as half full. This positive appearance will impress your boss, and you will find that being positive “feeds back” and makes you feel better about your job.


2. In terms of job performance, what can employees do to impress their bosses?

The best employees go beyond their job description and engage in what are called “Organizational Citizenship Behaviors,” or OCBs.  These are behaviors such as helping others, volunteering to take on extra chores or learn new skills, talking positively about the company (and the boss) to others. In other words, “going above and beyond the call of duty.”


3. Are there some simple things employees should be doing that most bosses would appreciate?

It’s obvious things like coming to work on time, or even a little early, dressing professionally, taking initiative and working hard add up to a pretty impressive employee, but what are the intangibles that make a boss take notice?

Here are some simple ones:

·       show appreciation (i.e., thank your boss – how about a handwritten note when your boss has done something positive for you or for the company?)

·       Respond immediately to emails, phone calls, etc. Show that you are ready to go.

·       Take notes at meetings shows you are paying attention, and the notes can help you retain and remember information (Later the boss may say, “Does anybody remember what we were talking about?” You have the notes!)

·       Help the boss and help coworkers.


4. How do you score points with the actual work you produce—your output?

Make sure that your work is high quality and error-free. Take the time to double check and proofread. For longer written work, provide an “executive summary” so that the boss knows what the report is about without having to read the entire thing.


5. What are some ways to make yourself shine during a performance review?

Be prepared. Review your performance and be prepared to give clear examples. Keep a positive attitude and smile. Don’t get defensive. And, of course, don’t argue!


6. How do these strategies make employees not only impressive to their bosses, but also rewarding for them?

Being positive and looking on the bright side helps you psychologically to feel better about your job. Helping others triggers them to reciprocate and help you when you need it. Being prepared and doing high-quality work are the kinds of things that get noticed, and these will pay off in your next performance review.


Originally published at Psychology Today

More Stories
Context Is Everything When It Comes To Strategy