One of the most stressful things you may encounter is preparing to talk to your boss. It could be about a job evaluation, promotion, raise, co-worker concerns, or any number of things. Whether your boss is a tyrant or lax, fearing a confrontation with your superiors is natural.
Perhaps you are concerned that your boss will think less of you or consider you as selfish or greedy. Maybe you see the whole scenario as an evaluation of your worth at work. The fact remains, though, that you will be more likely to get what you want if you let your boss know what you want!
Here are 7 great tips to effectively communicate with your boss and get what you want:
- Write it down. Write down the most important points of the topic or concern you wish to address. If it’s a raise, lay out why you feel you deserve it in clear-cut examples. The best way you can effectively remember and address these points is with a list. When you are sitting across the desk from your boss and your nerves are in high gear, your list is your backup of your most important points so that the meeting is not futile.
- Schedule the meeting in advance. Whether you work in a laid-back small office or a by-the-book corporate environment, making an appointment will show your boss that it’s important. They will know that you mean business before you even meet with them, and will hopefully be prepared with full attention.
- Make eye contact. Making eye contact shows that you are confident and sincere. It shows, without egotism, that you are aware of your importance to the company and also that you know what you deserve.
- Don’t be friends. You may be on a casual basis with your boss, but the reason for the meeting is to discuss a formal issue and it’s not to be casually dismissed. Be serious from beginning to end. Even though you may be on good terms with your boss, they are still your superior with bosses and obligations of their own. Be aware that their priorities might not include your priorities. They see your issue from a different perspective.
- Be prepared for either answer. Just because you have good reasons to justify your point does not mean that you’ll automatically receive the answer you desire. Perhaps you will, but perhaps you won’t. Be prepared for any possible answer so that you are not caught unaware.
- Know your limits. It’s also important to know that your boss may want to give you some of what you ask. Be prepared for a compromise. Know what you will and will not accept beforehand. If it’s a raise, for example, stake your limit at a certain percentage. Knowing your limitations before you go in will limit your surprise as well as keep you in charge by being prepared.
- Be prepared to take decisive action. If you find yourself in a last straw situation in which you will only accept a certain amount, a certain action, or a certain result, be prepared to follow through if your boss doesn’t agree to your terms. It may mean that it’s time to look for a new job if the topic means that much to you.
Knowing how to best communicate with your boss will enable you to get more of what you want.
When you follow these tips, you can prepare yourself as well as manage your stress level during the meeting. By reducing your stress, you will be able to have an open and honest discussion, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the end result!
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