I’m willing to assume that most people who report to a boss are interested in ways to make sure their boss is happy. After all, when the boss is happy, he is easier to get along with, she may treat you better, and you may even find yourself getting promoted sooner. What is not to like?
I recently learned a trick that goes a long way in keeping the boss pleased with what you are doing. It is so obvious, yet effective, I wish I would have thought to implement it years ago. Are you ready?
It is simply this: do first the thing that the boss will notice the most. Or on a related note, choose to first tackle the task that is the boss’s highest priority.
This is a battle-tested theory. Allow me to provide a few examples.
For a physical job, such as construction work, the illustration could be the most striking. If you and your team are building walls to a home, and you can get them complete and erected by the end of the day, that work will be seen due to its visibility more than spending time studying blueprints, planning how to build out the second level. (I’ve never done construction work, so if this example is bunk I apologize.)
If you work retail and are tasked with putting up new signage and organizing the back room, putting up the signage first shows that you’ve accomplished something that the boss can see with her eyes.
As an aside, the person from whom I heard this concept called it “eyewash.” I thought that was amusing.
For the office worker, accomplishing something visually obvious may not always be an option. However, you can be sure to note what the boss finds the most urgent and move that to the top of your list. It is a great feeling, rather than dreading when your superior returns back to the office and asks if “it” is done, to be able to say, “Yes, it is! Have a look.”
Similarly, “eyewash” for the office worker might include adding some graphic touches and/or a nicely designed cover page to a report to make it look more visually appealing, rather than just the contents of the project.
You get the idea.
This concept can also be applied by homemakers or those who work remotely, who are looking to wow their spouse or roommate. If an area of the house is exceptionally messy or dirty, take a few minutes before your housemate’s arrival home to straighten up and thus provide an improved atmosphere.
It is easy to get buried in to-do lists, meetings and other distractions at work and forget to prioritize that which your supervisor deems most essential. By taking time to think through what the boss finds most urgent (you might have to ask), or alternatively, doing something that impresses visually, you may just find your boss is happier with your performance. I dare you to try it. If you do, please comment below and let me know what happened!
All comments and questions are welcomed. Thank you for reading!