Just the thought of communicating with your boss can be enough to produce stress and anxiety. However, with a little preparation and practice, you can be on your way to confident and effective communication.
1) Before you speak to your boss, write down all the topics you want to discuss and what you hope to communicate.
2) Make sure you’re clear about what you want or need from your boss.
3) In private, rehearse what you want to say to your boss.
4) When speaking to your boss, use qualifying words, such as “perhaps” and “maybe,” rather than absolute words, such as “always,” “every,” “all the time” and “never.” Speaking in absolutes can raise a person’s defenses and cause resistance.
5) Make “I” statements, such as “I need guidance,” instead of “you” statements, such as “You haven’t given me guidance.”
6) Avoid going to your boss when you’re emotional. Give yourself a cooling-off period to collect your thoughts and composure.
7) If at all possible, talk to your boss before issues become heated and you become emotionally involved.
8) Be an active listener. Learn to really listen and understand what your boss says. If you missed or weren’t clear about a point, ask your boss to repeat or clarify it.
9) Try to repeat and rephrase the points your boss makes during a conversation to show that you’re listening and understanding him or her.
10) Practice good body language. Look at your boss, lean into the conversation and avoid fidgeting.
11) Be assertive, not aggressive.
12) Keep an open mind and be open to compromise.
13) Avoid gossiping or spreading rumors to your boss.
14) Have a positive attitude.
15) Be sure to give your boss praise and recognition when it’s due.
16) Communicate regularly with your boss to develop and maintain a comfortable relationship.
If you or your family is experiencing emotional or other problems, please call EAN to make an appointment with one of our licensed professionals. All interviews are kept strictly confidential.