Feb 17, 2016
Here are my top tips on how to get your Manager’s attention:
- Put yourself in your manager’s shoes – think about the pressures thatthey might be under; what might be their key priorities, and how does what you want or need fit within those priorities? What may seem incredibly important and urgent to you, may be down the end of a very long list of issues that you manager is currently facing.
- Respect their time – choose your timing when you have something to discuss with them. Indicate the importance of your issue by making an appointment to see them, rather than mention it in passing in the corridor. Often staff give managers information at inconvenient times, and then wonder why nothing is followed-through. If what you want to talk about is important then do what you can to minimise distractions and ensure that you have their full attention. Also, when you tell them that you need ten minutes of their time, don’t talk about an issue for an hour.
- Consider their personality and preferred communication style – does your boss like extensive detailed explanations? Do they respond better if they have a brief email prior to a meeting so they have time to weigh up options? Do they make quick decisions or are they analytical and like to gather all of the facts first? In team meetings, if there is a controversial issue, consider how you would feel if you are put on the spot in front of an audience, then ask yourself how your boss would prefer to deal with it.
- Speak their language – generally, the more senior a supervisor or manager is, the more they have to focus on budgets, targets, numbers and safety. So if for example, you want to ask for a new piece of equipment or an additional staff member, do your homework first and prepare a case study outlining the costs and the overall benefits to the company that the additional expenses would bring. Oh, and remember the magic 4 letter word…RISK! Part of a manager’s role is to identify potential risks and minimise the impact of them. Where relevant, let them know you have factored in the various risks involved in your proposal.
- Don’t use their office as a dumping ground – if you want your boss to take you and your concerns seriously, don’t just walk into his/her office and dump your problems for them to sort out. Where possible consider a couple of solutions before you see them and then present the issue, and your ideas of how it may be resolved. Your boss may prefer an alternative solution, but they will respect you for looking at the bigger picture.
Mills-Eaton Training delivers In-House training for medium-large organisations. They specialise in Team Development (with expertise in dysfunctional teams), Leadership, Communication and other practical programs.
Contact Kellie Mills on firstname.lastname@example.org