by Peter Jones

Having a solid relationship with your boss is incredibly important. It’s important to have a good rapport and to earn each other’s trust and respect. But some bosses are less effusive than others. What to do if your boss leaves you feeling in the dark as to her opinion of you?

Here are 11 signs your boss is likes you, even if, perhaps, she doesn’t show it much.

1. You Only Get Tough Love

If your boss gives you a lot of feedback, and most of it is negative, this is actually a good sign. He respects you enough to give you the notes you need to improve, and is invested in your improvement. Plus, he thinks you can handle the constructive criticism. So take it on the chin and keep doing better and better.

2. You’re Constantly Given Challenges

Does your boss give you more than you feel like you can handle? Perhaps she wants to test you, or groom you, and puts you on tough assignments. This may be a bit overwhelming, but it’s usually a very good sign.

3. You Always Sniff Out Priorities

If you are tuned into what your boss’s top priorities are, then not only can you work more effectively, but you’ll know whether you are working with the same endgame in mind. Keep this channel of communication open and be sure to volunteer for the projects that align with these priorities. Quickest way to your boss’s heart!

4. You Feel Respected

It doesn’t actually matter if your boss likes you. All that matters is respect. You don’t have to go for mani-pedis together, or have each other over for barbecues, but if you can tell that your boss respects, solicits, and listens to your ideas—particularly on important matters and projects? That’s worth so much more than being pals.

5. Your Input is Valuable

Your boss always asks your opinion. You’re consulted in team meetings and asked in for one-on-ones. If your boss is showing you this kind of trust, then you’re in very good shape.

6. You Rarely Get Compliments (Yes, this is a good thing!)

Managers don’t always shower their best employees with praise, preferring to use compliments as a tool for encouraging the lesser performing individuals. If you’re clear on what’s expected of you, and you’re keeping track of how well you’re stacking up in that department, then it doesn’t matter that your boss isn’t constantly patting you on the back. Do you get the real praise at the big moments? That’s all that matters. Your boss doesn’t think you need to be reminded of your position every other day.

7. You’re the Go-To

Are you your boss’s first call? The first person he taps when something urgent or important needs to be done, or just an everyday fire needs to be put out? If you’re the go-to girl or guy, then you’re obviously quite high in your boss’s esteem.

8. Your Responsibilities Keep Increasing

Your boss is constantly upping your responsibility level. She would not do this with employees she didn’t trust or think were up for the task. Take this as a compliment and make sure you keep up the good work.

9. You’re Often Set as the Example

If another employee is struggling, or someone has a problem or needs guidance with a difficult task, and your boss sends them down to you? Or you get singled out as an example of good work for the rest of your team to aspire to? That’s a great sign you’re in the inner circle in your boss’s eye.

10. You’re Trusted with the Moneymakers

When the stakes are high, you’re the one who gets sent into the game. An important project or client comes around, and your boss turns to you. This sign of trust is a big one, and you should feel great about it.

11. You’re Not Ignored

Again, maybe you aren’t happy hour besties, but your boss does go out of her way to check in with you from time to time—to assess how satisfied you are in your job, and to make sure she’s not in any danger of losing you. That’s a great sign of just how highly you are valued.

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