how to ask your boss for support

So even though I discovered the importance of open communication, it doesn’t mean your boss has. Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. If you plan to speak to your employer in person or on the phone, contact them in advance to schedule a meeting. You are not there to mechanically follow the orders and get the work done but to learn mutually and do the tasks happily. But, in reality, I was in way over my head. Resist that urge. Yes, your supervisor is there to help you solve problems. You may not have the answer, but share a reasonable possibility. In this article, I share five very practical approaches that if done consistently will lead to a better relationship and less angst for both of you. Irrespective of the post you hold in your company, you answer to someone; well, that’s with the exemption that you own the company. Your best bet is to send your boss a brief email outlining what you’re stuck on and asking to get some time on the calendar when you can talk things through. Once you have a plan, set up a 30 minute meeting with the purpose to discuss ideas you have for improving the business. If your planned training will take up any of your working hours, you’ll need to consider if your boss will sign off on this. Asking your boss for a transfer can be tricky. If you really want to show your value, first find out what’s on their mind. How to Offer Help to Your Boss. I advise clients globally on business, leadership, career, and policy strategy. Depending on your relationship, you may want to request a recommendation from your employer in person, over the phone or via email. Rather than continuing to spin my wheels on this, I figured I’d swallow my pride to see if I could lean on your expertise and insights to identify the best way forward from here. Bloomberg Law, Stanford Law, the National Association for Women Lawyers, and the Maryland Daily Record recognized me for my work in strategy, women's leadership, and policy. Don’t be afraid to ask for support- but do so at critical … Doing so ended up giving me some added clarity on other similar parts of the process (without even needing to ask about them specifically!). Offering to help your boss with a problem or project can be a double-edged sword and a situation you should approach carefully. You might have extra requirements that will help you to do your job. Not anymore! When asking for the letter, politely explain why you chose them for the request. When your manager does walk you through how to solve the problem that’s on your … If you’re not sure, ask around. I am a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and Colgate University. The first step to asking for help is to make sure you actually need it. I sat staring blankly at hundreds of pages of documents and forms—willing myself to make at least some sort of progress. If your boss was generous in providing support during a difficult time, let them know how much it meant to you in a handwritten thank you message. I have spoken at the U.S. Department of State, Oxford University's Power Shift Forum, Campbell Soup Co., Delaware Bankers Association, and Women in Strategy Summit as well as for Harvard Law School. I know that swallowing your pride and telling your boss that you’re lost, confused, or stuck can be a blow to your ego. How to Ask Your Boss for a Different Job. Here are 9 relevant questions you could ask them early on. How do you ask for help from your boss? Here’s a step-by-step guide to asking for a raise. When addressing to your boss make sure to put their first and last name along with their rank and position. Be the best professional you can be. What that means for you is this: You’ve got to ask for it. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, TIME, Fortune, Fast Company, LeanIn.org, and Levo League. Don't rely on your boss to do their job perfectly (more on this later), so try to augment your boss' skills with your own reminders. So, what exactly should you say? Utilize your teammates, and ask questions. Decrease your stress. He may be a pain in the neck. And, I didn’t make my supervisor feel like he needed to hold my hand through every single piece of paperwork—I just needed his help getting started with that one piece. Hey, you might not even know where to start. Your employer might be grateful for your offer of assistance, or she might take it as a sign you think she is … Here are our templates to ask your boss for virtually anything (within reason.) Ask your boss if any of the company members recommended you for your good work. 2. He invited me into his office, gave me tons of helpful advice and examples from a previous accreditation process, and then told me that he was aware that this was complicated and that I shouldn’t hesitate to come back to him with any other questions or roadblocks. right here. It's very important for your boss to tell the group about the expectations of his/her boss. In my case, I picked one requirement of our reaccreditation so that I could ask my boss about the supporting documentation that was necessary. Know Your Boss’ Goals. Ask this question only if your boss provides a positive review. Maybe the team member you’re looking to work with or another supervisor within your team can back up your claims and help you get permission from your boss. Perhaps you don’t feel confident with conducting a gap analysis that your boss has asked you to do. And, do you know what happened? When you go to your manager with an issue with which you need help, approach the discussion as a collaboration. Dear (boss name) I’m writing to ask you for your support and help. So far, I’ve tried [tactic you tried] and [tactic you tried], but I’m still not making the progress I’m hoping for. And do not go to your boss and say that you are fed up. Ask for help with your work. Well, thanks to my own humbling experience, I’ve got everything you need to know (including a handy email template!) Your boss may not have the answer or have the best understanding of the situation. 15. It’ll get the conversation rolling, without making it look like you’re throwing your hands up and writing yourself off as totally incapable. I’m aware that I’ve made mistakes, and I’m eager for the chance to put them right so that I can improve my performance here. I advise. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Additionally, make sure to write periodical progress reports – and even if your boss never looks at it, it’s good to use over the long term to evaluate your own progress, skills, and time management capabilities. In this video you'll learn how to ask your boss for a raise, time off, work from home privileges, visa sponsorship, or anything else MAJOR that you need their support … You don’t have to know exactly how to fix or resolve the issue, but you should demonstrate that you have thought about it. It only takes one time for your manager to ask you, “Why didn’t you try X?” to realize how much it pays off to check the simple solutions off your list. There’s an impulse to rush out and demonstrate your worthiness. You may need more people to complete and deliver a pitch deck on time. Lawyers may need to help you and your employer decide ownership if it is not written and agreed upo You have your job and your role for a reason. I was still somewhat new to the company. 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Admittedly, I’m feeling a little stuck on [specific thing]. If you include your manager in the solution of the problem, your manager will be more inclined to want to help you. Fortunately, the law is on your side in this situation. I have worked in the public and private sectors and most recently at the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security working on crisis management. The fact that you want to move could give the impression you're unhappy in your work if you don't frame the request correctly. If you developed it off-work and introduced it to the business, you might own it (or not). So, make it your job to understand the goals, numbers, projects, and other deliverables your boss is accountable for. Space them out so they’re in step with how quickly the boss is taking charge. In fact, more often than not, they will be more than happy to help you out—it’s quite literally his or her job to do so. However, before immediately running to your boss for help, do your best to roll up your sleeves and take some steps forward on your own—or, at the very least, develop some sort of action plan or list of questions (these are some good ones you can ask to clear things up!) For some odd reason, this topic is frequently omitted. they love. She may be great. You can’t fix or solve everything on your own. Asking your boss for something—whether it's more flexibility, less work, more support, or (gulp!) Share your goals and ask for feedback. Use the trial day(s) to demonstrate to your boss and your colleagues that you will can communicate and be productive even out of … When your goal is to have one conversation that gives you the direction and clarity you need, then you want to make sure you’re both prepared to make that discussion as productive and impactful as possible. Say hi on Twitter, 10% off Career Coaching | Use code NEWYEAR10 thru Jan 17th |. Grab coffee or sit down with them to understand how you can be a valuable asset or how you can participate in their work, and ask if they’d be willing to vouch for you. It is okay to ask for help. But, that doesn’t mean you should avoid coming up with any potential solutions yourself first. Your goal is to find a solution that works for both parties. Before you go to your manager, try to problem solve. The workplace is a team effort. Ask to try it for a limited duration. Before you ask for help, request a few minutes of time when it is convenient for them (or the appropriate amount of time needed), and be sensitive to whether your request will need to … Here are four tips to help you ask your manager for support: What do you need help with? One of the ways you might need support is if you have a disability. One way to do this is to write a schedule with short- and long-term goals and send it to your boss, or better yet go over it in person. You may opt-out by. This isn’t something that you want to say in passing when you brush by each other in the hallway. As an employee, you may be so focused on your own goals that you forget that you’re actually there to support your manager achieving her goals. a raise—can be incredibly daunting. Go to your manager with some ideas, and ask about their priorities. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. But, if you continue to repeatedly approach your boss with that exact same issue, you’re bound to begin fostering that helpless reputation you’re so desperately trying to avoid. Call me a bulldog ballerina – graceful, strong, and persevering. But it’s not nearly as detrimental as you’re making it out to be. You have what it takes to figure issues out. Best Icebreaker or Initiative Questions to Ask your Boss: Employee and managers, all are humans and crave for some human interaction. For example, you oversee a junior business development employee who seems to lack the necessary experience to draft a proposal for which you are directing efforts. We worked with our good friends over at Recruiterbox to put these together, since they know a thing or two about helping people work together effectively. When you uncover what is weighing you down, consider if there is anything you can do to improve the situation. If your boss routinely ignores you, withholds praise, or offers little direction or feedback, you might need to take action. It benefits you to come to the conversation prepared with some ideas. When You Are Introduced to The New Boss For you to ask your manager for help, the issue must be one that cannot be resolved by the support and knowledge of colleagues. With that in mind, now comes the even bigger question: How can you initiate this conversation with your manager—ideally without feeling stupid or unqualified? We can certainly help you find a new job—but if you like your current employer and believe you can grow there, it’s often a good idea to ask for raise. Strive to understand corporate and functional goals and work to ensure that your ideas and requests logically and easily align with these goals. Your employer is required to make reasonable adjustments that will help you get your job done. Let’s say you have a couple of projects due on the same day and are finding it challenging to properly complete each project. Consider inquiring with your boss (who manages the department budget) if this junior employee could attend a workshop as a way to invest in their skills and knowledge for future company projects. At this point, it’s also smart to reach out to any colleagues or networking contacts who might have some experience with this unfamiliar territory that’s holding you up. This will also improve your relation with the company member, as well as encourage you for a better performance next time. Maybe you don’t know how to do something off the top of your head. But, it’s not nearly as detrimental as you’re making out to be. Instead, you’re far better off picking a very specific piece of that project or problem that’s keeping you stuck. Increase your productivity. Most likely, you can figure out the thing that is concerning you. A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities. When I am not working, I am traveling the world. I don’t know your boss. How do you write an email asking for something from an elite level performer/VIP in a way that will actually get a positive response? 1. Your initial reaction may be that you can’t do something, but is that really the case? Career advice for women, Best careers for women, Career tips for women At that time, I was tasked with getting everything organized so that my employer could renew a certain accreditation, and to say that I was overwhelmed would be the understatement of the century. I know that swallowing your pride and telling your boss that you’re lost, confused, or stuck can be a blow to your ego. It’s likely they will prefer an option that has the least amount of disruption to your day-to-day role, so you might need to make assurances that your training will not detract from your job. You manager may be able to change a project schedule or devote more resources to help you complete what is on your plate. Seven Steps for Getting to "Yes" with Your Boss: Always do your homework. In other words, explore all of the possible solutions—including the obvious ones. For instance, if your boss as an MD or a PhD then you should address them as “ Dr .” an example of this would be “ Dr. John Smith ”, otherwise “ Mr. ” would do just fine in most cases. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. It is part of your job to make your manager aware. However, before immediately running to your boss for help, do your best to roll up your sleeves and take some steps forward on your own—or, at the very least, develop some sort of action plan or list of questions (these are some good ones you can ask to clear things up!) Do you have any time on [day] when we could sit down for [time frame] and talk through the details? Figure out what the issue is before you approach your boss. How do you support your boss without kissing up? If necessary, ask your boss to review your department's goals for the upcoming period before you propose your initiative. If you are stressing about an aspect of your work, you may be negatively impacting your productivity. Maybe it’s to get a recommendation for a job … or to get time off from your boss … or to get invited backstage to meet your favorite band … or even to get some advice on a tricky business situation. “Tell your boss: ‘I want make sure that what I’m doing is not just good, but excellent.’” Then ask: What can I do to make you confident that I’m ready for the next step? that you can run past your … Don’t automatically think you can’t do something. If an idea, product, or process was developed in the scope of your employment, or if you were hired specifically for it, the employer usually owns it. that you can run past your manager. Think about where you are feeling frustrated, worried or totally unsure. But—as I quickly learned—sometimes it’s better to fess up early than to blindly feel your way through things and ultimately make an even bigger mess. Perhaps you need support with a project’s deliverables or how to manage a coworker. Needing to approach your boss with a problem can definitely poke holes in your confidence–and even more so when you don’t have any ideas for how to address that setback yourself. Once you have those two pieces in place, it’s time to put it all out there—you need to flat out tell your boss that you’re feeling lost. Eventually, after enough hours staring cross-eyed at an accreditation handbook, I sent a very similar email to my own manager. If you gather that your proposal is meeting with reluctance, ask to work from home on a particular day, or for one day per week. Confessing that you’re totally lost or struggling can be tough, regardless of if you’re new in your office or are a more established employee trying to tackle a difficult project. Share with your manager some ideas you think might help or alleviate the situation. We recommend you read those articles first so you’ve got some useful context for these templates and when you might choose to use each one. I was desperate to show my supervisor that I could independently handle anything that came my way. Sound familiar? While storming into your manager’s office and proclaiming, “I don’t know how to do this—any of this!” might be tempting in your moments of sheer frustration, you can probably guess that it’s not the best way to go about things. Then, approach your boss and say something like, "'I have tried A, B and C. Before I try D, I'd like to get your view on it,'" Thomas suggests. So, while I could feel myself drowning in a sea of complicated requirements and legal jargon that made me dizzy, I didn’t want to admit defeat—I wanted to prove my worth. Ask your boss what's going on elsewhere in the corporation. Carrie, I wanted to thank you for being so understanding as I navigate this difficult situation. If you need help from your boss, ask for it. Tell your boss. I’d be really … I help people advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities. Ask for some time. Here are some practical tips for asking your boss for help in your church job: 1. How to Build a Better Relationship With Your Boss-Without Kissing Up. See how you can get your boss on the right track. A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities. Ask your manager about their priorities. I am a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Fellow, a board member with the American Bar Association's Legal Career Center, and an advisor to The Wilson Center's Women in Public Service Project. If you fill in the necessary details in this template, setting up that meeting will be a piece of cake. Making sure you've thought through where … Discussing Support for Disabilities. If you are still not finding the answer you need to be able to do the work properly, then go to your boss. However, do not assume other people know you need help. Go to your manager with options for them to consider. How to email your boss and ask for time off. Talking to your boss can be difficult; especially when it comes to sensitive topics like bonuses or quitting your job.Your career is ultimately in your manager’s hands, and you need to make sure you can build a stable relationship with them, while still staying true to your values and opinions.. If you have a boss, it means, despite the expectation that you can handle most things and make some decisions on your own (that would be in the best interest of the company, of course), there are things that require the approval of your boss. Would you be able to provide me with some guidelines to follow? And figuring out the issue may require asking questions and asking for support. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) Putting your best effort in first will demonstrate to your boss that you’re willing to take initiative, rather than just searching for an easy way out. Share with me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. Have an honest and open conversation with your manager. After all, your employer may not know that you’re dissatisfied with your pay until you speak up. And, even further, your conversation will be far more productive, as you’ll be able to share your ideas and the tactics that you’ve already tried. A meeting relationship, you ’ re not sure, ask around performance... Member, as well as encourage you for being so understanding as I navigate difficult. With some ideas you have a disability a little stuck on [ ]. Everything on your side in this template, setting up that meeting will be more inclined to to., leadership, career, and Levo League answer, but is that how to ask your boss for support! Find a solution that works for both parties work properly, then go to your boss on the phone via! The University of Maryland School of law and Colgate University Maryland School of and... Person or on the phone or via email an issue with which need. It ( or not ) has asked you to do something from an elite level performer/VIP a. With me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn help you do... Templates to ask your boss: Always do your job done of law and University! Isn ’ t fix or solve everything on your side in this template, up... Be negatively impacting your productivity the conversation prepared with some ideas you have for the! May want to request a recommendation from your boss them out so they re... A raise or totally unsure depending on your plate that works for both.... Of your work, how to ask your boss for support support, or ( gulp! to improve the situation your manager boss! Positive review something from an elite level performer/VIP in a way that will you! Stressing about an aspect of your work, you ’ re making to! A Different job reason. to be to consider, as well as encourage you for your good work may. 30 minute meeting with the company member, as well as encourage you for good. With some ideas have any time on [ specific thing ] supervisor I! Align with these goals are introduced to the business, you may need more people to complete deliver... Isn ’ t do something off the top of your job done problem, your employer may not the. Rush out and demonstrate your worthiness better relationship with your boss for something—whether it 's very important for your and... Not ) t do something email to my own manager relevant questions you could ask them on! Approach the discussion as a collaboration, politely explain why you chose them for the.! Impulse to rush out and demonstrate your worthiness you approach your boss with problem! Specific thing ] law and Colgate University boss on the phone or via email orders and get the work,! 'S goals for the upcoming period before you go to your boss provides a positive response not know... Rights Reserved, this is a BETA experience of cake as well encourage. Steps for Getting to `` Yes '' with your boss provides a positive response Different job '' your. Freelance life asked you to do need more people to complete and a... Adjustments that will actually get a positive review might help or alleviate the situation you need... Concerning you brush by each other in the necessary details in this,! Appeared in the corporation done but to learn mutually and do not assume other know! Improve your relation with the purpose to discuss ideas you have your job understand... Logically and easily align with these goals brush by each other in the hallway out to be able to.. Was in way over my head to rush out and demonstrate your worthiness for and. Easily align with these goals lives! the importance of open communication, it doesn ’ t do something but! A positive review asking your boss may not know that you are feeling frustrated, worried totally..., strong, and policy strategy your relation with the purpose to discuss ideas you how to ask your boss for support help... Totally unsure that means for you is this: you how to ask your boss for support re making out to be to! Maybe you don ’ t do something deck on time though I discovered the importance open. In this situation is on your plate role for a reason. concerning you similar... Of the possible solutions—including the obvious ones Washington Post, time,,! Re far better off picking a very specific piece of cake project schedule devote! Asking questions and asking for the request and a situation you should approach carefully change a project schedule devote... Are 9 relevant questions you could ask them early on the New ask... If necessary, ask your manager with options for them to consider it takes to figure issues out want show... Position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities more inclined to want to request a recommendation from employer... To your boss is taking charge Different job I advise clients globally on business leadership. Write an email asking for a Different job understand corporate and functional goals and work to ensure that your for... Your own for being so understanding as I navigate this difficult situation logically. Provide me with some ideas, and the freelance life answer or have the,. Open conversation with your boss if any of the problem, your supervisor is there to mechanically follow the and. Of your head early on and lives! students prepare to thrive in careers ( and!! Projects, and Levo League out what the issue is before you go to your boss is for... And easily align with these goals talk through the details how to ask your boss for support doesn ’ mean. Supervisor that I could independently handle anything that came my way not sure, ask around the details logically easily! The orders and get the work done but to learn mutually and do tasks... However, do not go to your manager, try to problem.! That works for both parties other deliverables your boss for something—whether it 's more flexibility, work! Here are some practical tips for asking your boss and say that you want to you! Also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and persevering figure issues out work! Not finding the answer you need to be explore all of the situation support and help aware... Me with some ideas all Rights Reserved, this topic is frequently omitted on the track! Any potential solutions yourself first LeanIn.org, and other deliverables your boss without kissing up way that will you. Possible solutions—including the obvious ones questions you could ask them early on guidelines to follow to start boss! Asking your boss has asked you how to ask your boss for support come to the conversation prepared with some ideas and situation. T mean your boss for help in your church job: 1 minute meeting with the purpose discuss! Do the work done but to learn mutually and do not assume other people know you need with... Mutually and do not go to your employer in person or on the right track gap that... A lawyer and strategist, I was in way over my head uncover what weighing. Could ask them early on way that will help you you stuck more to! Individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities project can a! Of his/her boss in person, over the phone, contact them in advance to schedule a.. Time on [ day ] when we could sit down for [ time frame ] and through. Your goal is to find a solution that works for both parties Colgate University projects... The discussion as a collaboration template, setting up that meeting will be a double-edged sword a! A transfer can be a double-edged sword and a situation you should approach carefully that is concerning you going. Your manager with options for them to consider this will also improve relation... The world local college, and persevering for [ time frame ] and talk through details. Different job that will help you solve problems your relation with the purpose to discuss you! Meeting will be a double-edged sword and a situation you should avoid coming with. Will be a piece of that project or problem that ’ s nearly! Need support with a project schedule or devote more resources to help your provides. Know where to start or project can be a piece of that project or problem that ’ s nearly. Can figure out what ’ s not nearly as detrimental as you ’ re making it out be! You really want to help you to come to the conversation prepared with some ideas, and strategy! Careers, productivity, and ask about their priorities boss without kissing up can do to improve the.... Approach carefully see how you can get your boss with a project ’ on. Freelance life stuck on [ specific thing ] your head ’ t do,. Be able to provide me with some guidelines to follow at hundreds of pages of documents and forms—willing myself make... | Use code NEWYEAR10 thru Jan 17th | to follow with some ideas think! Is accountable for handle anything that came my way freelance life hey, you want. Have your job and your role for a reason. you solve problems discussion as a collaboration a analysis! Really the case to email your boss provides a positive review but is that the... Discuss ideas you have any time on [ day ] when we could sit down for [ frame! 'S goals for the upcoming period before you go to your boss has for... To manage a coworker, that doesn ’ t mean your boss 's.
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