Why You Must Talk to Your Manager or Boss

communication_tower.jpgThroughout my career I’ve always been amazed at the lengths employees will go to to avoid talking to their supervisor or boss.  The result: The person in power feels like an outcast – a situation that benefits no one.  Especially you.  I’ve been on both sides of the fence and trust me, it’s time you start chatting up your boss.  Here’s why:

Someone who likes you is more apt to help you…

The best career advice is usually simple.  That’s why I’ll never understand why 10 new employment books come out every hour.  But I digress.  Ask yourself a simple question: Would you rather help someone you like or someone you don’t?  If you want to get ahead in your career, you’re going to need your boss’s support at some level.  Whether it’s submitting the paperwork to HR or submitting a proposal to the clowns upstairs, being nice to your boss today will make your life easier tomorrow.

Makes your motives crystal clear…

Chapter Four of the Manager’s Handbook reads something like this:

When an employee approaches you regarding a promotion and/or vacancy, be sure to act surprised about their interest, regardless of how long they’ve been with the organization. Suggested responses include:

"I had no idea you were interested."
"You should have come to me sooner."
"Hang tight. Other things are in the works."

You goal must be to communicate often and early in order to preempt any of the above statements.  You owe it to yourself to figure out what you want and then go for it.  Part of that equation might include telling your boss (and documenting) your intentions.

Eliminates awkwardness of infrequent communication…

The more we do something, the easier it becomes. Repetition breaks down walls of all heights and depths.  Asking your boss for something is never easy. Whether it’s for a raise, promotion, reference letter, day off, etc. – odds are – your stomach will be in knots.  Imagine how much more difficult you make things for yourself when you only talk to your boss when you need something.

An added bonus is that you also get to brush up on your ‘suit speak.’ Leadership speaks another language.  The sooner you speak it fluently, the better chance you have of running with the big boys.  Unfortunately, there’s no Rosetta Stone for this dialect.

Helps you learn your enemy…

We hope you get lucky and have a cordial relationship with a boss you genuinely want to talk to.  However, whether it’s a love or hate affair, knowing what makes your boss tick works to your advantage.  The only way to uncover that information is to actively engage.  Is he or she religious?  Wealthy?  Ill?  

You will be in a better position to get what you want.  Also, by letting your boss think he/she ‘gets you,’ will put you in a better position to be a manipulator – and not a manipulatee.

Spreads the word from above…

Another important reason to get along well with your boss is because you want he or she to sing your praises. Your boss has access to the heavy hitters.  These are the people that you want to know your name.  The more you talk with your boss, the better chance you’ll have of ending up on the corporate radar – an essential element to move up the ladder.

The bottom line is this: Don’t be a kiss ass – but be human.  Your boss has feelings and emotions just like you.  If you think you’re not hurting their feelings when you avoid them like the plague – think again.

I hope you see the benefits of regular communication with your boss.  Anyone have anything they’d like to add?

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