1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Especially at the beginning of your relationship -- that is, when either you or the boss is new to the job -- err on the side of giving your boss too much information and asking too many questions.
2. Acknowledge what the boss says. Bosses appreciate "responsive listening," says John Farner, principal of Russell Employee Management Consulting. When your boss asks you to do something or suggests ways for you to improve your work, let her know you heard.
3. Collaborate. When your boss has a new idea, respond to it in a constructive way instead of throwing up roadblocks.