Schedule Regular Conversations With Your Boss

Today is Thursday, so this post is on communication skills.

Effective communicators are great conversationalists.  However, I have found that many people who are good conversationalists don’t take the time to have one type of conversation that can have a huge impact on their life and career – regular one on one conversations with their boss.

Good leaders will take the initiative and schedule regular one on ones with the people they lead.  John Kelly, a friend and client, is more diligent about this than anyone I know.  Interestingly, the people he leads tend to be high performers.

Unfortunately, there are not enough leaders like John, so in most cases, you’ll have to take the lead in initiating these regular conversations with your boss.  It’s important to have these kinds of conversations regularly for several reasons.

  • You’ll develop a better, more personable relationship with your boss.
  • You’ll be able to update your boss on progress on your projects and to ask for any of his or her support that you need.
  • You’ll be able to turn your boss into a mentor and learn from his or her knowledge, experience and wisdom.
  • You’ll be in a good position to learn about interesting upcoming projects, so you can make your interest known in them.
  • You’ll be able to get your boss’ opinion on where your company and division are going.

How frequent should these conversations take place?  I suggest placing them on the calendar every two weeks.  In this way, you’ll be likely to have at least one conversation a month.  The modern business world being what it is, it’s unlikely that you and your boss will always be in the same place on the day and time you’ve set aside for your one to one conversations.

As with any conversation, you want to have a two way dialogue in which you both speak and listen about half the time.  Take notes in these conversations.  In this way, you’ll be demonstrating your interest in what your boss has to say, as well as providing you with a reminder of commitments you’ve both made.  Often, these notes are a great starting place for the subsequent conversation.

The common sense point here is simple.  Engage your boss in regularly scheduled one on one conversations.  These conversations will benefit your career growth in a number of ways.  When you become a leader, do the same thing for the people you lead.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my www.CommonSenseGuy.com blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting www.CommonSenseGuy.com

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Bud

PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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