Wednesday, November 16, 2016

4 Steps to Prepare for a Difficult Conversation with Your Boss

To be successful in your life and career requires vulnerability and courage. Sometimes you'll put yourself out there and be rejected for a promotion or be looked over for that new project.

There are times in our careers when we need to have a difficult conversation with our supervisor and unless we're able to muster up the courage to confront the situation head-on we'll be unable to move forward.

Here, then, are four steps to prepare for a difficult conversation with your boss.

1. Understand exactly what you want and and what you hope to accomplish. Are you looking for a raise? Perhaps you think you were wrongly denied a promotion or an opportunity on a new project. Or maybe you feel stuck with little opportunity to move up or learn new skills. Whatever the situation is, be sure you're clear about what it is you want and what outcome you are looking for.

2. Acknowledge your feelings about the situation. It is okay to be angry, sad, disappointed, frustrated, discouraged, or any number of other feelings you might experience but in order to have an effective conversation with your manager you need to fully own and understand how you're feeling about the circumstances.

3. Write out your ideas and imagine the response of your boss. By writing down what you want to say it will help you better formulate your thoughts, and help you anticipate and prepare for your supervisor's reaction. Be sure to focus on your feelings and thoughts about the situation without blaming your boss and people him or her on the defensive, making it less likely they'll be receptive to you comments.

4. Practice the conversation with a friend or family member. Role-playing the discussion will provide you with confidence before you meet with your boss, along with an opportunity to gain valuable feedback from your role-playing partner.

Now you're ready to schedule that difficult conversation.

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