Have you ever been in a situation where it’s difficult to reach your boss? You have questions, and it does not seem like they have time for you. Well, you’re not alone. Many people experience this same situation all too often.
Sometimes it comes down to their boss being ineffective at time management or lacking proper communication skills, and other times it’s related to how the organization is structured and the workload placed on them as Management. Simply put, it varies by person and organization. The trick is to find creative ways of getting their attention, so you can be effective in your role.
Tips for Reaching a Busy Boss
1. Schedule Time
If you don’t already have regular one-on-one meetings setup with your boss, where you have an opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback, then take the lead and set them up. Ask your boss what day and time works best for them to have short meetings to catch up on a regular basis, maybe weekly or bi-weekly. If you keep the time to a minimum, e.g., 15-30 minutes, your boss is likely to agree.
2. Batch Your Questions
Before meeting with your boss, draft a list of questions that you would like to cover with them. Keep the list short and then get them a copy before you meet, so they know what to expect. By keeping the list short and prioritized on the most important things to discuss, you can quickly get what you need without them feeling overwhelmed with many questions.
3. Learn from Others
Chances are, if you’re having challenges reaching your boss then others are too. Talk to those around you and see if you can learn from them as well. You may find that others have figured this out already, and all you have to do is model the same approach. In addition, you can observe how others around you get your boss’s attention, to see if you can learn what works best.
4. Be Flexible
When all else fails, be flexible. Try to avoid taking it personal when your boss is difficult to reach, or when they have to reschedule, etc. Think of creative ways to get their attention. For example, if you know your boss is walking between locations to their next meeting, then see if you can join them for a couple questions along the way. Or, if they are less distracted during the morning or later in the day, use that time instead to speak with them.
Whatever you do, just make sure you’re proactive as much as possible. Don’t wait for your busy boss to reach out, take the lead yourself.
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