Let’s face it: most bosses are bad at giving feedback—whether it’s positive or negative feedback. This lack of feedback can be particularly unsettling if you are new to a job and looking for direction.
So, how should you perform if you receive no feedback from your boss?
Here are six actions that are guaranteed to impress your boss even if they don’t tell you so:
1. Think like the owner
The strongest performers align their actions with the organization’s overall strategy—just like an owner would. For example, instead of asking, “What’s in it for me?” ask yourself strategic questions like, “What can I do to improve the bottom line?” or “How can I contribute to the growth of the company?” You will be of far greater value to your employer if you adopt an owner-like mentality.
2. Work hard and deliver results
Promotions and pay increases will come faster if you deliver results. And while you can increase your productivity by being better organized, it likely means you will have to work longer hours than everyone else.
But remember, employees are rewarded according to the value they bring to their employer, not just the amount of face time they put in.
3. Be likeable
Likeability is a combination of things such as your smile, physical being, voice, listening skills, warmth, etiquette, manner, attitude, charisma, dress, passion, and so on.
Think of a leader you like and respect. What do you feel when they walk into the room? How do others react to that person? Then, think about what these leaders are doing that causes those reactions and emulate those traits.
4. Cultivate relationships
It is not just your boss you have to connect with. Make sure you have solid relationships with colleagues in other departments, customers, suppliers, and other internal and external stakeholders. Being well-known, respected, and trusted by others is an essential trait of high performers.
5. Learn from others
Just like actors learn by watching other actors perform, you too can develop skills by observing others in the workplace. You might also invite a more senior person to be your mentor. Remember, asking for advice from others is a sign of self-confidence, not weakness.
6. Expand your skill set
Most top performers have a solid technical base (accountant, engineer, etc.) and have developed cross-functional skills over time. These skills are often developed by taking assignments in other functional areas. Rarely does a person move through to the top echelons of an organization without gaining hands-on experience in more than one discipline. And don’t ignore the value of building your communication abilities. Individuals with well-developed presentation and communications skills have a distinct advantage over their bashful colleagues.