How to talk to your boss

March 28, 2014 Career coaching

image-workers-300x225You and your direct manager may work great together, or even be friends. Still, when it comes to higher management – people who hire and fire; who give raises and who punish – talking calmly, clearly and within reason can be challenging. Here are some tricks, that can make you the favorite of your boss.

Short and clear – you may be worried about whether they will understand your point of view, or you may just want to make sure they got you right – but the main thing you should always remember is that you are talking to some busy people here. They are smart enough, they have probably had thousands of conversations like this one. You can not hide from them and you can not excuse yourself in front of them. All you can do is take a position and state it short and clear. If you are asked for clarifications, you can take some time, but still be as brief, clear and reasonable as possible.

Make suggestions – managers hate people, who tell them problems. Guess what – problems are everywhere for everyone to see. If you are going to talk to your boss for a problem, prepare at least a few suggestions. You can always end with “I would like to hear your opinion”, but waiting only on that means you do not deserve their time.

Stand your ground – of course you should be flexible and accept your boss’s reasonable notes, but also you should not be willing to do anything only because your boss says so. Don’t forget, very often chances are that your boss may have forgotten simple procedures and problems of your job, being too busy with his own. You are the person to tell him those and underline how important it is for them to be taken into consideration.

Stand up, thank and leave – when you get all the info you need. It is sometimes a bit of an uncomfortable situation – you are most probably in your boss’s office and if he is a nice person, he will not tell you to get up and leave. But he would sure appreciate it if you figure it out on your own. Trust me, if he needs you, he will ask you to stay.

Talk down no one – even bosses notice and appreciate this nowadays. You may think you would do the business a favor by telling your boss how someone is slacking off work and has bad results, but you are wrong. Even if you are asked for your opinion, stick to the facts only – state the positive, state the negative, maybe give a suggestion. Complaining too much about people around you will make you look bad, not them.

Keeping all those in mind, you will be able to grow in your career and develop excellent managerial skills yourself.

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