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How to approach your boss

How to approach your boss

Posted on 13/09/2022 by Caitlin Ielasi

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Do you find it difficult to approach your boss or unsure of what conversations you should have via email or in-person?

Talking to your manager or employer might be intimidating, especially if you need to discuss delicate issues like pay raises, performance, or important workplace difficulties. Remember, most bosses or managers don't like surprises, so be mindful of how you facilitate conversations.

The most crucial thing is to have a strong working relationship with them in order to benefit your career and day-to-day working interaction.

How to facilitate a conversation

Firstly, determine your boss's preferred method of communication. Some people could welcome a brief conversation and have an open door policy. Others might like a calendar invitation or an email.

Sensitive conversations should always be held face-to-face, or if you operate remotely, over a video call.

Be mindful

  1. Timing: Be sympathetic when approaching someone with an issue and be aware of what else is going on. Keep an eye out for trends so you can spot when your boss is overworked. When your boss is ready to engage in a fruitful conversation, approach them.

  2. Ask for a moment of their time - Before you storm into your boss's office or interrupt them with an urgent phone call, let them know that you would want to speak with them. Ask them when would be a good time to chat via email, with perhaps a short description of the matter.

  3. Explain the situation - Clearly describe the situation and be honest about how serious it is. Don't make your issue their issue. Instead, say, "I realise this is mine to settle," and then enquire as to any advice your supervisor may have. Instead of having to solve a problem for another person, managers prefer to be asked for their insight and counsel.

Remember there may be circumstances where there is serious misconduct, that is when your boss should take over the situation and resolve it accordingly.

What if the conversation isn't sensitive?

When you need someone to proofread or approve your work, or if you have a few short inquiries concerning a task, email is the best option.