Have you ever been working peacefully at your desk when suddenly your manager showed up to discuss an office concern? Before you knew it, your manager was walking away, leaving sparks in the air, and frustration in his wake. What happened?
Most likely, it was a communication problem. Learning how to communicate effectively with your manager will not only enable you to keep your job but also advance your career. Learn these tips to communicate with your manager better!
1Establish Trust Between Both Of You
Is a lack of trust between you and your manager part of the problem? You can build trust by working hard to do your job right, the first time. Also, speak with them in a pleasant manner, and always speak well of them. Even when you disagree with your manager, try to do so without being defensive.
2Handle Criticisms Well
If your manager feels you're not pulling your weight on a project, don't let them walk all over you. Be respectful as you stand up for yourself, and don't allow disagreements to turn into shouting matches or arguments. Realize they're trying to do their job, just as much as you're trying to do yours.
Instead of taking their criticism personally, listen to what they're saying, and respond effectively. It's not always what you know determines how far you can progress in a job. Very often, your employment success is based upon how well you get along with other people in the office, especially your boss.
3Adjust The Differences In Personality
Even if the two of you simply can't get along personally, that doesn't mean all is lost. Start at a point of respect for the position and communicate professionally and effectively, leaving personal issues behind. Do whatever you can to communicate better and to help you get your point across more effectively. Eventually, this will make you an indispensable member of the team.
4Resolve Simple Miscommunications
Is it possible there's merely miscommunication between the two of you? Maybe you haven't fully understood what your manager was trying to tell you. Also, your manager might have completely missed what you were trying to say.
It's quite possible that the lack of communication might not be entirely your fault. Perhaps, your manager needs to brush up on their communication skills, too. If you both put forth the effort to try to understand each other, the communication between the two of you can only improve.
5Make Use Of Nonverbal Signals
An important part of your message in communicating is not what you say, but how you say it. Watch the intensity, inflection, and tone of voice. Your body language also conveys what's being said, as much as the words do.
If your arms are crossed over your chest when speaking, it shows that your mind is made up and there's no changing it. Establish and maintain eye contact to signal that you're interested in their opinion. Work on keeping an even tone of voice and staying in a neutral position while you're talking with your manager. Using your nonverbal signals correctly could transform your relationship with your manager from being confrontational into a great working relationship!
Small improvements in how you speak and act towards your manager could make a big difference in the way the two of you get along. Practice these ideas to more effectively communicate with your manager. You can then improve your working relationship and enjoy greater success at work!
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."