So, you’re feeling really disconnected from your boss. You like them, but you never seem to be on the same page. They’re always assigning you new projects but never giving you feedback, or they’re in so many meetings that you rarely see them.
This is why having regular one-on-ones with your boss is so important—it helps you address concerns in the moment, get your questions answered, and build a rapport with your boss that makes your working relationship more cohesive, productive, and honest.
Of course, this isn’t always the case at some companies. Maybe it’s not their policy, or your manager oversees so many people it would be hard for them to meet with everyone.
That said, it never hurts to ask!
So, what exactly can you say to convince them to set aside some time for you? Your email could look something like this:
Hi [Manager’s Name],
I really appreciated meeting with you about [discussion you met about recently]. It was incredibly helpful in [what you got out of the meeting].
As a result, I was wondering if we could schedule regular check-ins together? Even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes a week, I’d love to be able to bounce ideas off you and keep you updated on what I’m working on, as well as give you an opportunity to give me any constructive feedback you might have on my work.
I’m happy to work around your schedule, as well as make it a biweekly or monthly meeting instead.
Please let me know if this might be possible and what works best for you. Thank you!
Or, you can bring it up when you have some time alone together:
I’ve noticed that when we meet together in person to discuss [topic] I’m more confident in my approach. So, I was wondering if you might consider having regular one-on-ones together? I imagine we won’t have urgent stuff to talk about every week, but I’d love to have some time for just us two to go over what you expect of me and how I can better work with you.
As you might notice, the key is to emphasize why it’s beneficial for them—because it’ll help you be a better employee to manage, and help them streamline the work they give you.
Along those same lines, it’s just as important to give them options and say you’re open to adjusting the schedule and agenda once you both get into the swing of things. Maybe a weekly meeting feels excessive and you run out of things to talk about, or maybe you agree to send status updates in advance so the time can be spent discussing bigger topics.
Regardless of what you decide upon, know that setting up this meeting is truly managing up 101. You not only make your life easier, but by being so proactive you make yourself look pretty damn good in your manager’s eyes.
Photo of people meeting courtesy of Westend61/Getty Images.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author