3 Effective Ways to Communicate With Your Boss
Developing a healthy relationship with your boss is the key to building your career. Your boss and his evaluation play an important role in shaping your career advancement in a company. Your boss and his recommendation will influence your ability to pursue future employment opportunities.
Communicating with your boss is an essential part of workplace diplomacy. If you want to develop a healthy relationship with your boss, you must learn to communicate with him in a respectful and productive manner. Here are three effective ways to do it:
1. Communicate often, but not too often
The best way to develop a romantic relationship is to communicate with your partner often. The same is true with your boss (unless you desire something other than a professional relationship).
Lovers might enjoy a serendipitous "Hey love, how are you?" or "What are you doing, honey?", but your boss will not appreciate an hour-by-hour update on the progress of your project.
When in doubt, imagine yourself in your boss' shoes. Ask yourself, "Will I enjoy hearing about this at this point in time from my subordinate?" If you imagine kicking yourself out the door, that is your cue to keep to yourself.
2. Listen and learn
Most boss-subordinate interactions can be summed up as: boss talks, you listen. Make the most out of these situations by being an active listener rather than a passive listener.
Be an active listener by understanding what your boss is trying to say. What does your boss want? Why is he saying this? What is expected of me? Also take note of speech patterns, tonal inflection, and body language. Are there any words being emphasized? Is he speaking with a sense of urgency?
The next step is to react accordingly. Did you detect a sense of urgency? Respond with, "I'll get right on it, boss." Proceed to completing the task as efficiently and effectively as possible.
3. Be assertive, not aggressive
Establishing your presence in the office will help you become indispensable to your boss. Doing so requires an assertive form of communication rather than an aggressive one to avoid making the wrong impression.
Here is an example of assertive vs. aggressive communication:
ASSERTIVE: I disagree. I think ...
AGGRESSIVE: I'm right, you're wrong.
Notice how you are able to convey an opinion in a respectful manner by using an assertive tone. On the other hand, the aggresive tone is accusatory, which creates a divide between the opposing sides of the conversation.
In short, to be assertive, you must express your opinions confidently while respecting the opinions of others.