You may have a great relationship with your boss that even extends beyond the workplace. This can make going to work a joy and very positive experience.
It is wise however, to never take your relationship for granted regardless of how well you get along. Bumps in the road can develop at any time, and often when you are least expecting them. If you do encounter a challenging situation, it is best to address it immediately before it has a chance to go underground, fester and even become a serious problem down the road.

The Stress Test

In similar fashion as your doctor may request you conduct a stress test to evaluate your physical health, it is wise to check your relationship with your boss every few months. Use the SWOT Model as a frame to evaluate the health of your working relationship with your boss.

  • Where are the Strengths of our relationship?
  • Are there Weaknesses or challenges we must address?
  • What Opportunities exist to improve or maintain our relationship?
  • What are the Threats that may undermine our relationship?

Beyond the SWOT questions, consider the following list for additional questions to test the strength and health of your relationship to keep it strong.

  • Do you understand what your manager expects from you?
  • Does your manager know what resources you require to meet those expectations?
  • Does your manager know about your significant achievements over the past month?
  • What is your manager’s preferred communication style – email, telephone, face-to-face, Skype, etc. What is yours?
  • Are you communicating in a clear and meaningful manner?
  • Do you trust each other?
  • What can you both do to improve your relationship?
  • Do you have regularly schedule check-in session? If yes, do you honour them?

Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating. ~ Charlie Kaufman