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Navigating Relationships within Organizations

Navigating Relationships within Organizations

Author: James Howard

This lesson is an overview of how to manage relationships with upper management and bosses.

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Video Transcription

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Hello, and welcome to this tutorial on navigating relationships within organizations. Now, as always with these tutorials, please feel free to fast-forward, pause, or rewind as many times as you need in order to get the most out of the time you're going to spend here.

So let me ask you a couple of questions off the bat. Do you ever get nervous? Do you ever get nervous around certain types of people? Have you ever been star struck, like meeting a big celebrity for the first time?

This man right here is named, Jimmy Stewart. And he was a big, huge movie star in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. He starred in a little movie called, It's A Wonderful Life that they play and every single Christmas. He was a big star, and he star struck a lot of folks. Can you imagine having to work with someone like this man where you have this big, huge star who you have to work with every single day?

Well, being star struck in a management relationship, it's not that uncommon. You want to do good around the boss. And you want to make sure you're having a good relationship with him. Well, during this tutorial, what we're going to be looking at are boss relationships. And we're also going to be talking about comfort around higher management.

Now, there are no key terms for this lesson, so let's go ahead and start talking about boss relationships. Now, having a good relationship with your boss is going to be absolutely critical for your professional success. This is the person who's in charge of the work assignments that you get. He also makes recommendations for promotions. And if you remember the last tutorial, this is the person who's helping you get to that next step in your career.

Now, in order to have a good relationship with your boss, you want to make sure that you're responding and relating well with your boss or your bosses, for that matter. You want to make sure that you're the one who's the go-to person and someone you can talk with comfortably. And this isn't always easy, but if you're going to have a good boss relationship, you want to make sure you're responding and relating well with your boss.

You also will tend to work harder for a good boss. Now employees who have good relationships or good reputation with their bosses are going to tend to work harder. So this is actually a win-win for both of you. He or she sees your hard work, and they're rewarded by the work that you put in.

It's important to learn from the bosses and people with that prior experience that you don't have. A lot of times, the problems that you see that are brand new, or vexing, or you just can't figure out, these folks have seen those things before. And they may actually be able to offer you tips on how to get through this particular problem. And it's also important to remember we're learning not just from the good things that the bosses do, but also some of the things that we may not agree with. We want to make sure that we're looking at both sides and taking those lessons in every day.

And we want to make sure that we're accepting challenges from the boss. Don't immediately throw them off. Oh, this is too much work. Oh, that's not my job. "That's not my job" is an absolute perfect way to ruin a career. Make sure that, when they hand you a challenge, you're going to accept it and try your best and excel at it.

Lastly, we want to make sure we're taking positive feedback, as well as negative feedback well too. We're not all perfect, and we never will be. We'll do things that are great, and we'll do things that are bad. We'll mess up, sometimes.

When the boss comes to you and gives you negative feedback, remember, it's not personal. What the bosses are doing is trying to make sure that you can do your job really, really well. And without that negative feedback, we oftentimes don't know what's wrong with the job that we're doing. So make sure you take the positive feedback, as well as the negative.

Let's talk about being comfortable around higher management. Well, of course, you always want to be comfortable, but you want to be professional around higher management. Now, some of the ways you can do that are, one, acting naturally. Be yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not in front of the bosses. They'll see through it.

But at the same time, be professional. These are not necessarily your best buddies. They're not the people that you hang out with on the weekend. These are the bosses or, in some case, your bosses boss. So you want to make sure you always temper that natural with professionalism.

You want to make sure you're presenting to senior managers without being overly nervous. Remember, you're there to do a job. And they're the ones who handed you that job in the first place. They're expecting a good job.

And they just want to hear what you have to say. So don't be just so nervous that you can't function. You've got to be able to put your nerves aside and present to those senior managers in a way that's going to reflect well on you and your department.

It's also important to understand how senior managers think and how they work. Now, senior managers take a big, large 30,000-foot view of the organization. They don't have time to see every small, little detail. That is where you come in, to take care of those smaller details so that they don't have to. They're worried about larger, big picture items.

And they stay really, really busy. Time is something that is very, very precious to them. So when you get a chance to present or you get a chance to talk to the senior managers, make sure you understand that these folks don't have a lot of time to hear every small detail. They want to see that larger picture view.

And when you're presenting to them, make sure you're presenting and creating approaches that are going to meet their needs. And in doing this, you want to make sure you're using the language that senior managers use. And if you do this where it meets their needs and it's in a language that they can understand and appreciate, it's going to be seen as a positive outcome not just for them, but also for you.

So make sure when you get a chance to see the senior management and especially present to them, you're above all being natural, but professional. You're not being overly nervous. And you're presenting things in a way that matches how they think and work. It matches their language, and it matches their needs.

So what is it we talked about today? Well, for one, we talked about boss relationships and how it's very, very important, especially professionally, to have that good working relationship with your boss. And we also talked about being comfortable or comfort around higher management, those things that we can do to make sure that we're not a distraction, but we're actually an asset when we get a chance to talk to some of those senior managers.

Now, as always, I want to thank you for spending some time with me today. And you folks have a great day.

Notes on "Navigating Relationships within Organizations"


(00:00 – 01:08) Introduction

(01:09 – 01:22) Overview

(01:23 – 04:08) Boss Relationships

(04:09 – 06:51) Comfort Around Higher Management

 (06:52 – 07:22) Recap