Steps to Connecting With Your Boss
By Joe Takash
Managing Up: 1. The rare act of transparent communication
with one’s professional superior or superiors to get needs met,
thoughts heard and contribute to the success of boss, team and
organization: 2. Courageous upward leadership with the intent to
establish trusting partnerships and own one’s results.
Interns and entry-level employees, even employees at high
levels, don’t apply the tips for effectively connecting because
they’re never provided a blueprint early on in their career.
Practicing these diligently can expedite career opportunities and
differentiate you in an economy that is in need of high-flyers more
1. Choose Good
Discover the best times in which to approach your boss by simply
asking, “when are the best times to meet with you if I have
questions?” This simply inquiry can build credibility because of the
awareness and consideration of their busy schedule. An added benefit
is that when you meet with them, you’re likely to have a more
focused, less distracted listener.
2. Prepare and
Practice your approach vs. just winging it so you can succinctly
explain up front why you’re there and what you need from them.
WARNING: Be solution-focused! Bosses want to know what you have
thought of or would suggest about the inquiries you have. This is a
crucial component for demonstrating leadership and initiative.
If your boss does not state his or her expectations or ask about
yours, don’t waste energy griping to others about it. Instead, rise
above and them to be clear about what they need from you. Requesting
the primary duties you should be focusing on or discovering the
qualities that make up the ideal professional in your position not
only impresses them, but provides you with a roadmap for success.
Follow-up/Follow-through: One of the biggest barriers for positive change is lack of
accountability. In managing upward, you can hold yourself and boss
accountable by agreeing on times/dates to follow-up at the
conclusion of each meeting or communication exchange. Your boss may
think, “These behaviors would be great in a client services or sales
position” which may be a promotion you earn twice as fast as you may
5. Own Your
A young lady named Karen once approached me after a keynote
presentation I delivered to her company. With a pleasant,
apprehensive smile, she said: “Joe, I really believe I’m equipped to
be our marketing manager. I have experience, passion and knowledge,
but I don’t know what to say to my boss. I was wondering if you have
advice.” I said, “Karen, I have for you a magic formula and it can
be described with one word: Ask!” I politely explained to her that
the biggest success stopper is that cynical voice within each of us.
Owning your results doesn’t mean you won’t experience fear as you
navigate your career, it’s the commitment to courageously ask for
what you want and be prepared to state why and how all will benefit.
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