Flip the Script: Initiate Conversations with Your Manager - HighGround

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Flip the Script: Initiate Conversations with Your Manager

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This blog series is to help employees make 2017 the best year yet. We spend 30% of our lives at work – this checklist will help employees get the most of their time and develop the skills that can turn jobs into something meaningful. If you missed it, check out our first post on embracing a growth mindset.


2017 Employee Checklist

hook-1727484_1280 Embrace a growth mindset

hook-1727484_1280 Start the conversation

em-dash Expand your feedback circle

em-dash Put your goals to work


By now we all know that talking about performance once a year isn’t going to cut it. If employees want to truly develop new skills and progress, they need to proactively work with their managers to make that happen.

Typically managers drive interaction. When there is an issue, a new project or need for a meeting, managers take the lead. This dynamic isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it also places the burden on managers and creates an environment where employees feel like they’re simply taking directives from their superiors.

The ways that employees and managers interact is incredibly important: checking in on goal progress, sharing feedback in real-time and staying current on the broader team’s activities is critical to the success of any employee. But for employees who are looking to advance or get out of a rut in 2017, they can take it one step further. Connecting informally and proactively with their managers will give them an opportunity to grow in ways that could have a big-time effect on their careers.

Here’s three proactive ways employees should interact with their managers if they’re looking to get more out of their jobs in 2017.

Develop and share goals and dream career plans. Managers have the power to provide opportunities and resources to help employees get to the next level, but they need to know where they want to go. If employees are open about their plans, managers can be their internal champions for new roles or departments within the organization.

Ask for advice. All managers have started lower on the totem pole in their careers. Whether employees are having personality issues with a co-worker or are unsure how to handle a situation, managers can offer employees a new perspective to help them through some nuanced situations that may not come up in a more formal review scenario.

Work through problem areas together. A common mistake many people make is to hide their weaknesses from their managers. In reality, no one is perfect (even your manager). When employees expose problem areas and ask for ways to improve them, it might actually put them on the fast-track to a promotion. This demonstrates self-awareness and willingness to improve – both of which are great traits regardless of title or position.

If employees aren’t sure how or where to initiate these conversations, encourage them to grab a quick coffee with their bosses. Take advantage of time spent together waiting for the elevator. Spend a few minutes together at your next company outing or even stay behind after a meeting to chat.

Know of any other great ways to for employees to informally connect with their managers?

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