One Trick To Keep You and Your Boss on The Same Page

bossAuthor: Alyse Kalish
Source: The Muse

The perfect boss is a mind reader. They know how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking at any given time, and so they adjust how they treat you and what they assign you accordingly.

You’d probably agree with that statement, right?

But the reality is that managers don’t have this superpower—no one does.

However, communicating more clearly —the real-life fix to not working with mind readers— is something you can do in your office.

This is what we call “managing up.” And if that term scares you or seems impossible in your situation, we’ve discovered the best method to try it out.

In a recent article, Quartz writer Khe Hy talks about how his boss’ vague communication stressed him out on a daily basis. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands—with one simple email:

Every Friday afternoon, I’d send my boss a short email with three categories:

  • The work I had completed that week
  • What I was working on, including any deadlines that may have shifted or obstacles I’d encountered
  • What I was waiting on—that is, tasks that I’d completed, but require sign-off from my boss or contributions from someone else

Rather than wait for his manager to guess what he needed from them, he proactively put all that information in front of them so they could easily get back to him with a response, sign-off, or edit. It also ensured his boss was well aware of where he stood in meeting deadlines.

But most importantly, this short email inadvertently tells his boss how he’s getting along mentally and emotionally—for example, if he communicates the same obstacles every week, it opens the door for a deeper discussion about shifting strategies or extending deadlines that’ll relieve some of that stress.

The real kicker? Writing it up only takes Hy 15 minutes (and probably takes his manager less time to read).

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