All good employees have to meet with their bosses. There’s no getting out of it! Meetings are essential if you want projects to run smoothly and teams to work together like a well-oiled machine. The problem is that we often let our superiors handle things to keep the meeting efficient. However, employees also have to participate if the meeting is to be productive. Here are six tips that will help you breeze through meetings with your manager like a pro.
1- Set a Clear Agenda
If you show up to the meeting completely unprepared, the interview with your boss will likely be short and unsatisfactory for everyone involved. Never improvise a meeting with your colleagues. The issue at stake should be clearly identified, as well as which topics will be discussed. If your superior has called the meeting, be sure to ask what they want to talk about so that you can prepare, bring the necessary documents and reflect on the issues in advance. If you called the meeting, send your manager an email with a concise agenda.
2- Check in on Current Projects
For a good start to a one-on-one meeting, let your boss know how your projects are coming along, what results you have obtained and any delays or changes in direction requested by your clients. You should, of course, stick to the big picture and not go into too much detail, or you will risk losing valuable time for issues that should be discussed at length.
3- Address Problems
This conversation with your superior is the perfect opportunity to bring up any problems you have dealing with projects. A critical approach like this obviously requires preparation on your part. Before the day of the meeting, make a list of the difficulties you have encountered in successfully completing your projects, such as bureaucracy between departments and gaps in communication with clients. That way, you can use the meeting to ask for suggestions to resolve these issues. Your boss cares about employee satisfaction and how well the company operates, so they will take the time to answer your questions or ask their superiors. Demonstrate proactivity by arriving with suggestions. Between the two of you, you will find the best solutions to problems within the company.
4- Stick to the Schedule
The problem with interviews with your boss is often how short the time is. You each have tasks to complete and meetings throughout the day. This means that you have no choice other than to manage your time effectively and prepare meticulously in order to stay on topic and prioritise. If something comes up, it’s better to ask to push back the meeting than to botch your in-person encounter. Not only will you get nothing done, you will have to schedule another meeting!
5- Fully Invest in the Company
These meetings are an excellent opportunity to show your dedication and desire to move forward with your career. If you are interested in another job at the company or would like to have more responsibility, let your boss know during the conversation. They will be able to recommend training or set up a meeting with the manager of another department. Likewise, if the schedule that your boss has set for you seems difficult to maintain, let them know … with tact and diplomacy, of course, because you don’t want to offend them. You can plan the best way to improve your working conditions and keep up your motivation together.
6- Plan Next Steps
Don’t leave your boss’s office without a clear plan for the coming weeks. For a team to work well together, each person needs to know which tasks to prioritise, be it contacting a client, preparing a presentation or speaking with the CEO. This checklist can also come with a timetable so that you understand the next steps. After the meeting, write a summary of action items and send a copy to your superior. With their busy schedule and many projects to manage, they will appreciate this initiative. As long as they have a recap, they won’t have to call you in again to remember what you talked about!