The best way to improve your connection with your boss is to reflect on your own personality style and then determine where the connection points and challenges are. If you resonate with the title, you likely fit into the structure oriented personality style. Next step is to try to determine your boss’s personality style. Check out the Workplace Personality Styles link on the left sidebar menu for an overview. Now that you have both yourself and your boss categorized, here are some key points to improve your communication and overall relationship with your boss:

Structure Oriented to Action Oriented Boss
•Your key connection point is the fact that you both like to hands on get work completed, your motivation however is different. For yourself as a structure oriented personality you like to complete things fully with high quality. Your boss loves to get things completed as well but their motivation is more about moving on to the next challenge.
•The key challenge for you when working with your boss is you like to review what has happened in the past, you like to clearly document things and have a clear agenda for activities. Your boss on the other hand is more focused on the future and living in the present.

Structure Oriented to People Oriented Boss
•Your key connection point is that you both loving being part of a community/team to achieve goals. The difference however is you like to have defined roles and be very clear about focusing on the task at hand not about developing social relationships. Your boss however likes to have a more fluid team engagement and feels it’s important to build the social bonds to develop trust on the team.
•Your key challenge will be around structure. You like structure and tried and true approaches to things and your boss is likely focused on creativity and big strides forward.

Structure Oriented to Logic Oriented Boss
•Your key connection point is about facts and logic. Both your personality styles like to have discussions based on facts not just intuition. The difference will come in the level of detail. Your preference is to work through lots of detail to understand everything; your boss is likely looking for just the top facts.
•Your key challenge will be on moving from planning to action. Although you both like planning your logic oriented boss loves to ask why and consider every possibility looking for the optimal solution and you would prefer to take a logical plan of action and get to achieving and completing the task.

Your relationship with your boss is much more complex than just the points listed above, however having an appreciation for some polarizing preferences can go a long way to improving the relationship. Once you actually start having the discussion about different preferences you can work out how to best appreciate and capitalize on the differences, rather than getting stuck in not understanding each other.


Author's Bio: 

Lynn is a partner at Conundrum Adventures, a team building company that delivers high quality experiential team building to the corporate market.

Lynn has held executive positions at a variety of organizations. They include EVP of a dot-com start up responsible for vendor relationship management, technology and consulting to VP Global Sourcing for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Throughout her career she has demonstrated the ability to lead and inspire teams to achieve excellent results. Lynn draws on her experience to effectively facilitate team discussions to find creative solutions to the most challenging problems. Lynn holds an HBA and an MBA degree from the Ivey Business School.