Since we see our coworkers more than just about anyone in our lives, it’s nice feel liked around the office. This is especially true when it comes to bosses, since they have the power to (a) help you advance in your career and (b) ruin your day by being mean. So how do you get your manager to like you as a person? In a fantastic Daily Muse post titled “5 Subtle Ways to Make a Good Impression on Your Boss,” Natasha Burton of DailyWorth shares some tips for winning points without even opening your mouth.
1. Be an Active Listener — During meetings or one-on-one chats with your supervisor, make eye contact, relax your face, and put the tablets and smartphones away. The trick, says relationship expert Dr. Jeanette Raymond, is to express just the right level of attentiveness. “Maintain an alert posture without overstretching the head and neck, which implies a wish to dominate or is a sign of condemnation,” she says.
2. Use Proper Body Language — Every company or workplace has its own prevailing approach to body language. In some offices, people shake hands; in others, it’s all group hugs and high-fives. It’s important to realize what the trend is where you work and use the proper body language when interacting with your higher-ups.
3. Be Genuine — While it’s good to make eye contact, smile, and show you’re an attentive listener, don’t simply nod along to everything the boss says. Not all of his or her ideas will be winners, and if you come across as a yes man or woman, you’ll risk seeming “indiscriminate,” says career coach Roy Cohen — author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide — and you won’t be taken as seriously.
4. Fake It Slightly to Build a Rapport — According to stress coach Cathy Dean, it’s OK to pretend a little. In fact, she recommends imagining the boss as an old friend you haven’t seen in years. “It has to start from within,” Dean says. “Then the body language that you make naturally shows up: a softening of the eyes, a slight smile on your face, excitement that this person is around, relaxed shoulders, and an easy, comfortable posture.”
5. Don’t Forget the Power of a Touch — A light touch on the arm can be a powerful thing. It might even help you persuade people to see things your way. That said, you should wait for the boss to initiate such contact.