Your boss has an important influence on your career. He can help your career reach great heights or pull you down with negative reviews. This also means that your boss can be your friend or your foe.
Let’s clarify something first. By friend, I don’t mean someone you hang out with after work or ‘friend’ on Facebook. That’s your personal call. Likewise, foe here does not refer to someone who is deliberately out to ‘get you’. In a professional context (which is the context of this article) friend and foe have different interpretations.
The boss is your friend if his behavior, attitude and approach create an environment for your growth and career advancement. He is your foe if he has poor management style and cannot help you improve or learn.
Is your boss your friend or foe? Not sure? Take this quiz to find out.
About this Quiz
Read the questions and choose the option that seems closest to your situation.
1. When you offer opinions, your boss
a. Listens politely and notes down the ideas. Helps you to implement them better
b. Notes down your ideas but does nothing further
c. Makes sarcastic comments about your ideas and disregards them completely
2. Your boss is your link with the top management. In this role, which of the statements below best describes your boss’ behavior? Your boss
a. Is very clear about management policy, goes to bat for you in case of problems and protects you in case or upper management changes
b. Explains management policy but does not go out of the way to protect anyone
c. Does not explain any new policies, actively sabotages employees and is more bothered about looking good rather than helping his team.
3. In his day to day interactions with you (and the team) your boss
a. Gives credit where it is due
b. Expects you to do your job and is not bothered about credit
c. Is a credit hog for everyone else’s work
4. You have been given a project to manage. Your boss
a. Sets simple parameters and tells you to keep him in the loop.
b. Leaves you to do the job but does follow up once in a while
c. Micromanages everything and criticizes everything you do
5. Information is power. Your boss
a. Tells you everything you need to know about a project.
b. Tells you some things and leaves out things that are not important.
c. Holds back information necessary to you and releases information only when you absolutely need it, sometimes it becomes too late.
6. During team meetings, your boss
a. Actively encourages ideas from everyone.
b. Is not too bothered if no one volunteers any ideas.
c. Is talking constantly making it difficult for you to get a word in.
7. With respect to setting goals and targets your boss
a. Provides clear communication.
b. Makes an effort to keep you informed and is always ready to answer your queries.
c. Operates on a strictly need-to-know basis.
8. When you have accomplished something tremendous your boss
a. Makes a big deal out of it and ensures that higher-ups are aware of your contribution in the project.
b. Congratulates you privately.
c. Has the view that you have only done your job and does not think it is anything spectacular.
If you have ticked mostly ‘a’, then you have a very cooperative boss who is fully invested in ensuring your success. He is up to date with current management trends and is more likely to help you in your career. This boss is a friend.
If you have ticked mostly ‘b’, then you have an indifferent boss who does a good job but does not go the extra mile to bring out your best performance. So your professional advancement is likely to be slower than faster. Is this boss a friend or foe, you decide.
However, if you’ve ticked mostly ‘c’, it’s fair to say that your boss is your foe. He is not bothered about your success and is much more likely to pull you down without regard to your career.
How did your boss rate? Is he a friend or foe?