Talk About Priorities

Try connecting with your manager on a regular basis, clearing the work goals and priorities of the coming weeks or months.

Ensure that this line of communication is open so that there is clarity on both sides.

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Managing Your Boss

Managing one’s boss can be a challenge, and most people have problems and frustrations with their superiors.

Working optimally with your boss means trying to produce the best possible results in an organization, keeping your stress levels low and increasing your happiness. It helps to have clarity about your options, keeping your sanity and focusing on what you can control.

Just like setting priorities, there has to be a regular touchpoint system established, for checking in and getting queries solved.

Maintaining regularity of the meeting is imperative, though there are bound to be cancellations due to other priorities of your boss. It helps to take this into account and pushing for the meeting nonetheless.

Keeping emails concise and taking the bosses written approvals in a simple Yes or No can be helpful. Make sure the text is to-the-point, with suggested solutions, so that the boss can answer quickly.

Timely feedback of your work is to be provided by the boss on a regular basis, rather than springing a surprise in the performance review. Asking proactively for feedback will correct the problems (if any) when it is not too late.

  • Don’t Take Things Personally: It helps to have a ‘thick skin’ and keep your ego out of your boss’s ultimate decision which may not be your preference.
  • Your Boss Is Human Too: Your boss can also feel frustrated, flustered or in need of a good word. Being human also brings in envy or insecurity in a person, so you have to consider that while dealing with your boss.
  • Avoid Ambiguity: Keeping things written down, and clear helps avoid misunderstandings, miscommunications and ambiguity. Being organized and easy to work with can help you deal with your boss efficiently.

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The most productive one-on-ones have some kind of structure, which requires you to do some prep beforehand. Basically, don’t just show up and chat—you’ll lose precious time in rambling conversations.

  • Is this time-sensitive? If it’s urgent, don’t wait for your next meeting to provide an update. Mention anything urgent in real time so your manager can quickly help you before the going gets too tough.
  • How complicated is my update? If you find yourself drafting an essay-length email to your manager, that’s a good sign your update is better suited for in person. On the other hand, if it’s short and sweet, go on and send over an email, but don’t let it cut into precious one-on-one time.
  • Is this an opportunity to share a win? Don’t be afraid to share and celebrate your wins. Help your manager see your progress and acknowledge your good work. This also helps your manager share your work with leadership who you might not interact with you on a regular basis.

Ask questions that get to the heart of your concerns. For instance, if you’re stuck on a potential strategy, you can ask your manager: “How would you approach X? My proposed solution is Y, any feedback on this?”

Articulate and agree on these commitments in the last part of your one-on-one so you’re crystal clear on what’s expected between now and your next check-in. This could be as simple as your manager agreeing to send over a report that might be helpful for you, or as complex as you agreeing to have a difficult conversation with a client.

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IDEA

You may decide to hold off voicing your opinion if you want to gather your army first. People can contribute experience or information to your thinking — all the things that would make the disagreement stronger or more valid. 

Also, delay the conversation if you’re in a meeting or other public space. Discussing the issue in private will make the powerful person feel less threatened.

A resignation letter is not to announce your departure. It is documentation of your decision, not the main event.

Have your resignation conversation with your boss first, then formalize it with your written resignation.

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