By Minhas Meghani, Communication Coach & Senior Consultant
Communication has always been and will be an imperative part of the work environment. Missing on it keeps you from achieving results and harms your productivity too.
However, for a lot of people, talking to their boss can be difficult; even when it is not about discussing any sensitive topics and just about everyday discussions. Here are the seven ways to effectively communicate with your boss.
- Play the Boss’s Game
If you invited your boss for a dinner, would you ever serve steaks despite knowing that he or she is a vegetarian? People are different also when it comes to communicating. Acknowledging how your boss prefers to communicate and using the same way to do it is a good way to begin. For example, some managers have an open-door policy and are ever available for a quick chat. Others may prefer receiving an email invite beforehand to check their availability. Choosing the right time to talk is also vital. If you see he/ she is busy making big decisions, you are better off emailing than setting a meeting.
- Be Open
Most employees think twice before talking to their boss because they’re not being able to maintain an open communication with them. This means being able to anticipate how he/ she might react to a new idea or the issue that you need to discuss. A few times subordinates even let go of some amazing ideas that are worth sharing. To get over this inhibition, you can set a weekly meeting to discuss new ideas, build rapport and seek advice. If you don’t get a chance to do so, you can also socialize with your boss by discussing about and asking for advice about things outside work as well. Once the rapport is built, one should be able to correct the boss when required without any hesitation.
- Act Right
Acting right by learning a few tips about body language and gestures is quite easy- which in some cases, can help. However, the true way to act right is by treating the values of your organizations as your own values. One way to go against them is being part of the office gossips. Mostly they are a waste of time too, but someone you treat as your work wife may rat you out someday, which could hurt your reputation too.
- Ask Exactly What You Need
Beating around the bush is never appreciated. If someone comes to you to discuss something very important but ends up giving you a lot of background information to make you understand his/her perspective for a very long time, would you like it? Your boss too is probably busy and doesn’t have time to sit through all the information you have to present. When you want to take a permission, ask for an approval or just want to inform about something, it is a good idea to jot down all important points and remove the ones not worth discussing. You can save the details in your head in case the boss is interested in or asks for them.
Always be willing to give opinions, ideas, and some extra time to execute them. It is always a good idea to be willing to take on more responsibilities. This is the best way to add value to your organization, which was actually the reason one gets hired in the first place, but we all have the tendency to be occupied with our routine schedules. In addition, it is always a good idea to back up your ideas with facts or some research.
- Keep Emotions Aside
All the managers and supervisors aren’t alike. At times you might end up working for a boss who has Jekyll and Hide personality, or someone who is extremely frugal with praise. But nothing can bother you if don’t let it. After all, we all are in the office to work for the bottom line and not to cater to our emotions. It is always good to wait for your emotions to cool down and never talk to anyone, let alone your boss if there is chance for tempers to flare.
- Look at the Bigger Picture
It is natural to lose it after getting some criticism, especially if you are expecting a compliment. However, the most successful are the employees who take it in the right stride. They are able to do it by not taking it personally and looking at the common goals they can achieve with their colleagues and department heads. Looking at the bigger picture is essential because you need to show its importance to your subordinates too once you take the lead.
After all a good reminder can be that any boss that we work with is another human just like us. The only difference can be that he or she has already been through the ladder we are on.