Daily Archives: November 29, 2007

3 Ways to Improve Communication with Your Boss

Are you getting the support you need from your boss? If not, you probably feel frustrated and overlooked at times. To improve your relationship with your boss, it’s important to focus on communicating your needs in a respectful way. This means being willing to open up and start a dialogue with your supervisor. The following tips can help you talk with your boss about your needs so that, together, you can create a work environment you’ll thrive in.

1. Help your boss help you.
Your boss isn’t a mind reader. If you don’t have the resources you need to do your job, it’s your responsibility to let your boss know. But before you approach your boss with a request, be sure you’ve done your research. You’ll want to be able to answer basic questions such as “How much will this cost?” “How much time/money will this save?” and “What’s the problem with our current system/resource?” More than likely, your boss wants to help you be successful but will need to be persuaded that what you’re asking for will really do the trick.

2. Let your boss know how you like to receive feedback.
Everyone has a unique communication style. That means that you and your boss may not always be on the same page when it comes to giving and receiving feedback. Some people like to receive praise in a group, others in private. Having weekly in-person meetings works best for some, while others prefer to discuss matters through e-mail or over the phone. If your communication style is clashing with your supervisor’s, focus on creating a happy middle ground. For example, if your boss frequently interrupts you during the work day, request to have a weekly meeting to discuss all non-urgent tasks then. To keep your boss from being offended at the suggestion, phrase the request in a way that shows you value your boss’s time and your own. “I know how busy we both are these days. What do you think of setting up a weekly huddle up to discuss these projects?”

3. Give credit where credit is due.
To improve communication, it’s important to show appreciation for what your boss is already doing right. Do you like the way your boss encourages brainstorming or praises you for a job well done? Don’t keep it to yourself! If you want to see more of a behavior, praise it. When you give thanks it encourages your boss to strive to be the best leader possible.

Do you ever struggle to communicate with your boss? What have you found to be the most effective way to improve your relationship?