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Career Monday: Successful Meetings with Your Boss Made Easy

Maybe you’re nervous about meeting with your boss or maybe you rarely see them face to face. Either way, having more frequent and effective communications would be beneficial for your career. Regular and productive meetings enable you to make a positive impression and gather information you need to do your job.

Learn how to use meetings with your boss to enhance your working relationship and your performance. Take a look at how to encourage more one-on-one time, and spend it wisely.

Preparing to Meet with Your Boss:

1. Identify your purpose. Show your boss that you value their time by keeping your meetings on track. Have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish, whether that is giving them a status update or presenting a project proposal.

2. Write an agenda. Put your agenda down on paper. Give it to your boss in advance so they can think about it too, and bring an extra copy with you so you’ll both have it front of you for reference.

3. Dress up. Depending on your workplace, it might be appropriate to take extra care with your appearance. Wear something a little more formal than your typical wardrobe. You’ll look more professional and feel more confident.

4. Develop solutions. Let your boss know that you’re proactive. Before you raise an issue with them, line up several possible solutions, and be ready to discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

5. Practice small talk. It also helps to humanize your boss. Find out what they’re interested in so you can chat about college basketball or basset hounds. Read about world news and industry events so you’ll be well-informed.

6. Think positive. Express your enthusiasm. Think about the things you like about your job and your boss. Smile and be happy.

7. Do great work. Of course, it’s easier to feel confident and impress your boss when you know you’re exceeding their expectations. Cultivate a reputation for excellence.

Conducting Meetings with Your Boss:

1. Take notes. Writing down information demonstrates that you’re listening. It also gives you something to refer to later in case you need to refresh your memory.

2. Focus on action items. Your boss will be more eager to meet with you if you help them to look good. Pay attention to their priorities and use each session to find practical ways you can make a contribution. Break things down into manageable tasks and realistic deadlines. Be sure to follow through.

3. Ask for what you need. Let your boss know how they can help you to become a more valuable employee. Clarify any confusing issues and ask for additional resources like training or new software.

4. Be accountable. If you’ve made a misstep, own up to it promptly. Explain what you’re doing to correct the situation and prevent it from happening again.

5. Address special circumstances. Your boss will probably appreciate your keeping your meetings as brief as possible. On the other hand, there are times when you need to meet more often. That may include your first month working together or anytime you have a major or unusual project.

6. Demonstrate leadership. Go beyond your job description. Talk about the big picture at your company and conditions that affect your industry. You can learn a lot from what you boss has to say. Share your own insights.

7. Invite feedback. Be open to constructive criticism. Ask your boss what you’re doing well and where you need to grow.

8. Express gratitude. Remember to thank your boss for their time. Tell them how your meetings help you to close more sales or provide superior customer service.

In a world of digital communications, sitting down with your boss is still essential for building rapport and developing professionally. Boost your performance and advance your career by mastering the art of management conversations.

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