In some instances, communicating with your boss can be challenging: You typically have a short period of time to get your point across, you can’t foresee every issue that might be raised and no matter how well you thought you did, you generally walk away second-guessing yourself.
All effective communication requires is a little preparation to make sure you feel more confident leaving these discussions. It all starts with knowing when to approach your boss, and when not to.
Delivering bad news
Sometimes mistakes happen. Projections can be inaccurate, machines can be broken, processes can be neglected, and so on. It is important that you inform your boss about major issues when they occur.
When giving bad news, it’s important that your start out by describing the problem and the negative impact it is having. Then, you should describe a solution or approach to solving the problem and how that approach will solve the issue or at least mitigate any damage. Finally, you should describe the benefits of taking your course of action and accept responsibility for the outcome.
Disagreements happen at work and spats often break out over cleanliness or miscommunications. However, major conflicts that can have a damaging effect on the business need to be addressed, and the situation should be communicated to your supervisor.
Just like when you approach your boss about bad news, be thinking about solutions ahead of time. Supervisor already have a lot to worry about, and you giving them solutions makes handling an unexpected conflict much easier.
Not happy with the job
In a perfect world, we would all love our jobs and walk into work each day with a big smile. However, there are sometimes when you may feel stuck, stagnant or just plain unhappy in your job. When this happens, it’s important to let your boss know how you feel.
Once again, it’s best to approach your boss with solutions in mind. For instance, if you’re feeling stagnate, you could suggest picking up a little cross-training to learn new skills. Or, if you’re feeling overworked, maybe you could figure out a way to offload some non-essential responsibilities.
You should use this conversation as an opportunity to seek out advice from your boss and ask them for help.
Never diminish others
Talking to your boss is an opportunity to demonstrate your worth, but you shouldn’t be doing so at the expense of others. For instance, when talking around a recent project, don’t minimize the contributions of others. Doing this, you run the risk of looking small, and if others find out, they’ll have every reason to be mad at you.
Are you looking for a new opportunity?
At Software Management Consultants, we work with our client companies and our contract workers to ensure that lines of communication are kept open and any concerns are addressed. Contact us if you’re currently looking for the next opportunity on your career path.