It's October 16th, which is not only two days before the seemingly romantic Sweetest Day, but also the day we celebrate Boss's Day. We could give you tips on how to become what most bosses consider to be a superstar employee, but instead we're bringing a much more enriching topic: talking to your boss.
It seems as if there's someone employees get nervous talking to, it's the boss. Your supervisor is a person who can make or break your happiness at work. Wouldn't it be helpful if you could at least have some career-oriented discussions with him or her? If you're the type of professional that gets bit clammy before the performance review and avoids eye contact when the boss is walking by, these tips are for you.
Share your ideas
No matter how you feel about your job, you've probably come across something that you think could work better. Instead of just shrugging it off with a "they'll never agree to it" attitude, consider presenting your idea to your boss as a serious solution to a problem. Not only are you showing your boss that you take initiative, but you're also showing that you're committed to improving the company with positive, efficient changes.
Since it's often difficult to convince people to change, no matter who they are, make sure you approach your boss with a plan in mind. Just dropping a hint of the problem usually isn't fruitful. Instead, put together a quick outline of your solution. You're much more likely to get the go-ahead that way.
How you do your best work
Remember how in school, your teacher might have asked you how you do your best work? Just as everyone has a different learning style, everyone has a workstyle. It's challenging for a boss to support employees and provide a structure in which all employees can trive. Bosses want their employees to do their best work: it's good for the company and good for the team!
Most bosses want to hear your feedback about what's working for you and what's not, whether you work best with weekly check-ins or short catch-up calls every day. Your boss will never know how you work best unless you tell them. If you never try to speak up, you have no reason to complain!
Performance review season is approaching and often it gives most employees the jitters. Instead of cowering when you're called in for your review, beforehand think about some of your career goals that you maybe haven't had the chance to discuss with your boss. This is the perfect one-on-one opportunity to talk about your goals and your vision for the future.
Your boss can be a great mentor and advocate for you during your career. If your boss doesn't know you have goals of working with an international client or that you'd like to be a manager someday, then how can they help you get there? Seeing your boss as a resource to meet your career goals not only helps you get where you want to be, but also shows that you're a driven employee that wants to contribute more to the company.
Life outside of work
Maybe you're lucky enough to have found some good friends in your coworkers, but how friendly are you with your boss? Getting a little personal with your boss - read: a little personal - can be beneficial to your professional relationship. Connecting with someone on a personal level usually elevates stresses when you have to go to them with something difficult. The same can be said for your boss.
Find something you both have in common. Maybe you both like to golf or you're both in on the newest tech. Or maybe you both grew up in the same place or you both have kids. You don't have to go into serious detail about your personal life or share your deep dark secrets, in fact leave those at home, but sharing something, however little, can make it easier for you two to talk about the tough work stuff. And anytime you have less stress is a good time right?
Need more ideas for striking up a conversation with your boss? Check out: 5 Things You Should be Talking to Your Boss About or 9 Things You Should Tell Your Boss at Your Next Performance Review.