Bosses can be intimidating. Sometimes it takes all your courage just to approach them about day-to-day tasks. Having a tense, or even a deep, conversation with them can become downright petrifying.
However, you shouldn’t be afraid. Talking to your manager about certain topics is a key step in advancing your career, and in making sure you can perform your current job effectively. Part of maximizing your professional development involves effective communication with your supervisors. Asking for what you need will help you get ahead.
Ultimately, it helps your boss as well. Being open and honest with your employer makes sure everybody stays on the same page, and that activities are handled with the highest level of productivity.
Here are five conversations you shouldn’t be afraid to have with your boss:
Requests for Time Off
You may feel social pressure to hold onto your vacation days. Your boss might not say it explicitly, but you feel shy about requesting time off. You don’t want to burden your coworkers, or look less-than-dedicated to the job.
You’re not alone. One study found that nearly 800 million (768 million) vacation days went unused in a particular year. That’s a lot of conversations with bosses that didn’t take place.
However, vacations are more than “extra days.” They represent an important component of your professional life. They allow you to avoid burnout and to recharge your batteries. They also help provide important work/life balance.
You dread performance reviews. Don’t worry, it’s a common emotion. However, this fear can stand in the way of your professional progress.
Rather than avoid feedback, you should seek it out. Don’t just wait until a once-a-year meeting to learn what your boss thinks of your output. Ask them about it constantly. You might not always like what you hear. But the information will help you improve. Meanwhile, the sheer act of asking for feedback will improve your relationship with your supervisor.
Don’t be ashamed of your ambition. You want to achieve big things in your professional life. Your current job is just a step along that path. These facts shouldn’t be a secret.
Discuss your future plans with your boss. You can learn whether your current position has the opportunities you need to fast-track your development. At the same time, your boss might be able to open doors for you that they wouldn’t otherwise know you wanted to knock on.
Your Suggestions to Improve Operations
Your boss wants the most productive workplace possible. If you have a suggestion that can improve efficiency, they want to hear it. Don’t hesitate to bring ideas to your supervisor.
However, you do need to consider your approach. Every boss has a unique psychological makeup. How you present the idea will play a big role in how it is received. Consider your tactics before launching into an elaborate overhaul of company policy. Don’t be afraid of the conversation, but do the necessary preparation to make your pitch as effective as possible.
What Additional Support You Need
Getting your job done on a day-to-day basis requires a certain level of support from the company. They need to provide the equipment and other resources you need to achieve success. If you don’t have these items in place, let your boss know. If they’re good at their job, they’ll be thankful you told them.
Strong communication is important. Being able to talk to your boss about tough subjects helps you achieve the highest performance in your current position, and lets you build towards the future. If you don’t feel you have that kind of relationship, it may be time for a change.
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