Hey guys, it’s Courtney with Revela and today I want to talk to you about communicating up. For many of us, one of the most difficult things to do is engage in a crucial conversation with the person we report to. This person holds authority over you, they complete your performance review, and they decide if you are getting a raise or not. You want them to see the value you bring to the company and your department. If handled correctly, these conversations could have a positive impact on your work relationships, the culture of your team or department, and the success of your organization.
Here are a few tips to help in these conversations.
- First, set up a specific time to talk with your manager. Don’t walk by their office, assuming they aren’t busy and sit down to chat about the issue. Set up a specific time and let your manager know what you would like to discuss.
- Next, take time to do your research. Gather facts that would support your idea or opinion. Write down your thoughts and ideas before meeting with your manager. Think about what questions they might ask and see if you can figure out those answers before going into this meeting. Doing your research and preparing for the meeting shows your manager that this idea or opinion means a lot to you.
- During the meeting, remember your goal. If you’re there because you don’t like a new process that was put in place in production, ask your manager to tell you more about their idea and why this was put into place. Keep the questions open-ended so you can really learn why your manager decided to change this. But make sure you’re staying focused on what you can there to talk to them about.
- As you are having these conversations, be aware of your body language and facial expressions. If you need a moment to think about something they just said, let them know.
- During this meeting, determine if you or your manager need to gather more information, and then set up another meeting if needed. Remember, you set up the meeting. Don’t wait for your manager to come to you.
- Finally, and probably the most important tip: your manager needs your opinions and ideas. You see and experience things that they can’t experience in the same way. Your perspective is valuable. But remember, your good ideas can’t be considered if the decision makers don’t know about them.
Need to have a difficult conversation with your manager? What are you going to do?