There are many reasons to want to flirt with a boss. Perhaps a genuine desire to have him as a partner; perhaps the influence of the (very controversial) surveys that women who flirt at work are more likely to stand out (sorry men: the trick doesn't work for you). Whatever the reason, flirting in the workplace is always risky and should be done carefully. In this article, we will discuss some of these risks and offer tips for the reader who wants to go ahead despite them.
Part 1 of 2: Assessing the Situation
Step 1. Identify your reasons
You probably got this far because you were looking for ways to flirt with your boss or boss, which suggests that you, at the very least, cherish the idea. What is your reason for wanting this? Boredom? The feeling that your affinity could be the basis of a lasting relationship? What advantages could you have in your professional life? Knowing your reasons will help you assess whether the risk is worth it.
Flirting with your superior can be the missing push for you to stick with the project you had your eye on or with a better shift. But depending on company policy, you're just as likely to get hurt
Step 2. Identify your limits
Is your intention to flirt and stop there? Or start a serious relationship? Think about how far you would like to go, and don't get your hopes up that you don't intend to fulfill. Hooking someone up isn't going to get you anywhere.
Step 3. Be aware of possible professional consequences
Many companies prohibit romantic relationships between peers, especially when they involve a superior and a subordinate. Getting involved with a boss can risk your job and his. Furthermore, your flirting, if inappropriate or rude, could be framed as sexual harassment, which would result in your immediate dismissal. Also consider the risk of losing your credibility or damaging your reputation with your peers.
- Even interactions outside of work hours can lead to the firing of one or both of you. Be careful!
- Understand your company's policy for romantic relationships before proceeding. If nothing is published about this policy, consult an HR professional.
- If you're afraid to ask the question because you fear it will lead to gossip, remember that flirting will lead to even worse gossip. Take this into account when making your decision.
Step 4. Be aware of possible social consequences
While flirting doesn't put your job at risk, it can cost you good fellowship with co-workers if they disapprove of your attitude or believe you want to take advantage of your boss. In addition, you can be embarrassed if flirting has no effect or culminates in an ill-fated relationship.
Part 2 of 2: Flirting with your boss
Step 1. Proceed with caution
You've decided that you want to risk flirting with your boss or boss. Now be careful! Given the variety of possible negative consequences, you'll have to be subtle enough to be able to deny any accusations that you were trying to seduce your boss, and at the same time carefully consider the reactions you elicit in him. Flirt without appearing to be flirting.
Step 2. Make eye contact
Knowing how to make (and maintain) eye contact is a crucial flirting skill - sometimes the only one needed to communicate a romantic interest in someone. It's an equally effective tool with men and women, and may even make your target feel more attracted to you.
- Try to catch your boss's eye in a meeting and keep your eyes fixed on it longer than you normally would.
- Look him straight in the eye when he speaks to you.
- Create more opportunities to make eye contact: Go more often to your employer's office and start solving issues with them in person rather than over the phone or email.
- Keep in mind that just a glance won't get your message across. Studies say that it takes 3 to 13 prolonged eye contact for your attraction to be clear.
- Too much eye contact, however, causes discomfort. Always pay attention to how your gaze is being received. If the person avoids looking back or looks uncomfortable, give up.
Step 3. Smile
A lot of people look down on this advice, but there's nothing more appealing than a friendly, genuine smile. Interestingly, the hallmark of a happy, genuine smile is crow's feet - don't be afraid to wrinkle your face. From time to time, give your boss a sincere smile to let him know you're happy to see him.
A genuine smile is something that, by definition, cannot be rehearsed, but you can train it by thinking something funny and looking at yourself in the mirror
Step 4. Be considerate
Pay attention when your boss or boss speaks to you. Show interest, even if the subject isn't all that exciting. Express your enthusiasm with pertinent questions and comments ("Wow, I had no idea about that!").
- But don't overdo it: being honest is more important than affecting interest.
- Mimicking your partner's body language on your turn to speak is a great way to express your interest.
Step 5. Increase the frequency of physical contact
This is an effective flirting tactic as much as it is risky. Don't use it if you haven't been successful in the previous steps (that is, if your looks, smiles and small talk haven't been reciprocated).
- End meetings with a smile and a handshake.
- Briefly tap your boss on the shoulder when talking to him.
- When he makes a joke, laugh and touch his forearm lingeringly.
- Avoid affectionate or sexual touches in the workplace: shoulder massages, hugs, knee groping, etc. Even if this type of interaction is consensual, it can cost you your job.
Step 6. Read the signals you receive carefully
Flirting with superiors is dangerous, so pay attention to how your advances are received and proceed calmly. If eye contact and smiles are always reciprocated, you're probably doing well. On the other hand, the person appearing apprehensive next to you (or simply avoiding being around you) suggests that they are uncomfortable and that you should abort the flirting.
Step 7. Don't commit irreversible acts
Sending flirtatious text messages to a romantic prospect outside of work is okay. When it comes to co-workers, remember that such a message would not be erased or forgotten. Likewise, you shouldn't flirt with your target in front of other people.
- Be aware that the employer has, in certain situations, the prerogative to track and examine emails, messages and calls made by employees with company equipment.
- If flirting is successful and you start exchanging messages and emails, remember to use computers, phones and personal email accounts.
Step 8. Be honest and direct
If things go well, the next step will be to decide the direction of this relationship. Since workplace-born relationships are more complicated, it's a good idea to discuss the situation openly rather than guessing at the person's will and making a bold sexual advance. Speak clearly your intentions and cover her with an equally clear answer. This may sound strange, but it's important to make sure you both want the same thing before moving on.
- Invite the person to lunch or coffee and take the opportunity to discuss the matter.
- Get to the subject little by little so that you can change the direction of the conversation if you notice surprise on the part of your boss or boss.
- Speak generically, as if you were making small talk: "What do you think about relationships between coworkers?" Your boss's response will let you know whether or not you should move forward.
- This impersonal approach will allow you, if it becomes clear that your boss isn't into yours, to change the subject without as much damage to your reputation as if you tried to kiss him or do something worse.