Best Practices for Meeting with Your Boss
Meeting with Your Boss
Whenever you are meeting with your boss, your one-on-one sessions should be productive for both you and your manager. Executives now report spending over 20 hours per week in often wasteful meetings, so you need to make your meetings count. Remember, each interaction with your boss leaves an impression of you, your commitment, and your team.
The Meeting Agenda
Every good meeting with your boss should have a clear and agreed-upon agenda about how to spend your time together. The purpose of an agenda is to keep the conversation on target and organized. It helps ensure the meeting will produce results and provides a framework to more easily capture next steps.
The Meeting Purpose
While meeting with your boss can have many intended outcomes, leaders tell us that the best one-on-one meetings with their direct reports are used to solve relevant problems, overcome important obstacles, or provide coaching toward improved performance. In other words, while relationship building is always important to consider, the focus of your meeting with your boss should be about something that directly aligns with helping them to meet their own performance goals.
The Meeting Process
How can you effectively guide a meeting? By asking thoughtful and open-ended questions about issues that are important to both you and your manager. It could be that you don’t know the best approach to tackle your latest assignment; or you that are struggling to garner the needed resources from another department; or that you worry about your ability to handle an upcoming executive presentation and need coaching on how to do it well. The point is to be clear about what help you need to move forward.
During the meeting, don’t be afraid to ask about how you can get better at what you do. This is a sign of self-confidence and the desire for self-improvement rather than a sign of weakness. Your boss should be willing and able to give you constructive feedback to help you charter a course for your future. Take advantage of and appreciate any chance for learning and development.
The Meeting Closure
Before the meeting ends, re-cap the agreements that have been made and the specific next steps you plan to take. You want to be sure both you and your manager agree upon what is expected between now and the next time you meet.
The Bottom Line
Effective one-on-one meetings with your manager should increase engagement and be welcomed as a forum for you to achieve new levels of job performance. But you must do your share of meeting planning and participation. Set an agenda, ask questions, agree upon next steps and be open to career advancing possibilities.
To learn more about effective meetings, download The 4 Field-tested Keys to an Effective Project Kickoff Meeting