As a manager, I deal with many issues with many departments throughout the day. I also need to follow up with what my staff are supposed to do, make sure everything is on schedule, and to help if any help is needed.
I’ve seen many ways employees update their bosses. Some explain things straight to the point, not wasting precious time, while some tend to take more time to explain something, adding the spices and in the worst, finally not making any decisions at all.
Today, let’s talk about how to update The Boss.
As executives, we tend to feel that everything we do, is important.
While that is correct (Managers wouldn’t have hired you if you are not getting the job done), when updating the Boss, not ALL information is necessary.
Make it a habit to use the 4 contents to update The Boss impressively.
1. The Situation
There must be a reason to feedback to your Boss, whether it is a routine feedback (meetings), or informing an issue faced. What ever it is, define it properly and keep it mind. Don’t change the subject when the conversation moves to another direction. Keep to it.
Oh, and begin with asking permission to take some (define how long) of his time. If he’s in a hurry, you are only poking the beehive to just approach and launch into your update.
“Hi Jake, can I have 5 minutes to update you on the Samdoll event project?”
2. What needs to be Decided
Inform what needs to be decided now, or at any time soon. This decision may need to be done during this update session, or later after you receive some additional information.
“We need to decide the budget for the Samdoll project, so now I am checking the price of the land, and receiving quotations from 3 event managers. I’ll get the information by Wednesday and give you the estimation.”
3. My Proposal
Here’s where you inform your work in progress, and what you think we should do, based on what you already know. Managers love getting proposals from employees. Employees with ideas hold a higher value than those who just wait for instructions.
Your idea may be different than what the Manager has in mind, or it might even be wrong, but raising it nevertheless will raise your confidence level, and Managers normally will graciously guide you on what other information you need. You will be able to improve your thinking skills, so the next time you raise a proposal, you already know what to expect.
“Since the Samdoll event will take place in June, just after the Chinese New Year holidays, we may need to hold the supplier meetings a month earlier than schedule, to avoid problems with suppliers taking long holidays.”
4. Help Needed
Sometimes employees face issues that can’t be resolved by their authority, or territory, and need help from the Boss. Inform the Boss of this directly, so he knows he needs to make a move.
“Jake, I need your help to inform the GA team to book the catering before April. That way, I can review the budget with Finance and decide how much budget we have left for doorgift.”
“Jake, I can’t decide how much budget we should put for doorgift because I don’t want to take too much from the catering budget. Can you advise?”
So there you have the 4 contents you need when updating your Boss.
Skip the unnecessary information, stick to only relevant information needed.
Another thing I found helpful when updating the Boss is to have a written draft of what I want to say. Jotting down the important information on paper and using it during explanation gives a visual image, and helps the thinking flow. It also prevents overlooked information. Best of all, it looks like your thinking is structured, and the Boss will feel more confident than you are doing a good job.