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Leadership Tips: Take Time to Talk with Your Boss

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Today is National Boss’s Day, and whether you loathe or admire yours, it’s a good time to reflect on the role this individual plays in your life. There are identified areas that contribute to a healthier employee-boss relationship, and one of them is continuously giving and acting on feedback.

A few years ago, we conducted a Fierce Survey exploring employee-supervisor relationships. Eighty percent of respondents who reported a good employee-supervisor relationship claim that the most important thing a boss can do to create a positive working relationship is to both solicit and value their input. Among respondents who claimed to have a poor relationship with their boss, 42 percent stated that one of the top reasons the relationship was strained was due to their boss’ failure to listen or take their input into account.

If you do not feel your boss listens or takes your input seriously, it is time to take responsibility for your work life and the relationship with your boss. This week’s tip is to talk with your boss about what is working and not working. Whether you believe it or not, leaders do crave conversations that give insight and help set the relationship up for success. These are not always easy, but they are critical for a strong working relationship.

David Whyte, English poet, was once interviewed by, and he was asked the question: What are the guidelines you feel are necessary for a genuine conversation to be created? I absolutely loved his answer.

“The primary guideline is that you treat the other person and you treat your world as if it´s alive. The other people you work with, the person you are married to, they are not just there as a highly paid extra in your career drama. They are actually alive and your world is alive. Everything is a source of revelation. The basic dynamic of a real conversation is that you are not just using other people to take the next step; you are actually interested in the dynamic of meeting something other than yourself.”

Given that, I encourage you to treat your world as if it’s alive.

Assume good intent, and connect with your boss this week. Have the conversations you need to have.


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