We have a question for you: are you intimidated by your leaders? The thing is, bosses are people, too. We could throw a tired cliche at you to prove it, but we'll refrain, even though we all put our pants on one leg at a time. (Come on, did you really think we wouldn't go there?)
There are all sorts of things you talk to your boss about on a regular basis, but there are often things that we avoid bringing it up, possibly out of fear, possibly because we think it's taboo, or maybe we just don't know how to talk about it!
To Speak or Not to Speak?
"What else could I possibly need to talk to my boss about?" you ask? Sure, you and your boss might have pretty open communication, but we're guessing that there's at least one thing that you would like to discuss with them if the stars aligned and you felt like you could. Maybe you want to expand your role, or maybe your role has ballooned and you're feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you need to ask them for something (a raise, training for your team), or maybe you need to tell them about an issue that's come up and you're not sure how to handle it. Whatever the topic, here are some helpful hints that can get you started.
1. Clarify the End Goal
We always say "go in with a goal" for any meaningful conversation. If you're not sure about what you're looking for in the aftermath of a conversation, this causes two problems. First, how will you measure the success of the conversation? And second, if you're not clear about what you want, then how can you expect your boss to understand what you need from them? Prompt yourself by asking "What will make this conversation successful? What's my desired outcome or end goal? What action or result am I seeking by initiating this conversation?"
2. Write it Down
Once you've identified what it is you want to talk to your boss about, help yourself focus by writing down the topics or points you'd like to cover. What do you want to make sure you touch on? Help yourself organize your thoughts in a logical manner--this will help you gain further clarity from step one, and also allow you to be prepared for the conversation at hand.
3. Invite Their Feedback and Perspective
This is a conversation, which means your boss should have the opportunity to contribute his or her thoughts. How will you move forward together? What are your next steps, and what support do you need from each other, or from outside resources?
Check out more on these and other tips to help you communicate with your boss here!
What Will You Talk to Your Boss About?
We hope these tips help you prepare for that conversation with your boss, no matter what it's about!