How To Be More Direct With Your Boss
If you have ever wanted to say something to your boss but been uncertain of the right approach, you aren’t alone. A lot of people lament interactions with their boss and always fear an awkward or even unpleasant outcome, particularly when discussing more serious topics. The reality is that your boss is there to guide and support you, which is why it is important to know how to be direct with them. Communicating more directly can show that you respect their time, know what you need, and are able to concisely make your points. In this article, we will discuss how to be more direct with your boss.
Remember They Are People
The first step to being comfortable communicating directly with your boss is to remember that they are a person, just like you. So often people fall into the trap of thinking of their boss as nothing more than a face for the company. In reality, they are people who have emotions, thoughts, and insecurities—just like you! If you have fallen into the mental camp where you consider your boss to be beyond you or above you, break the cycle now. You’re having a professional conversation with a person who wants to do best by you and by the company.
Break Down Your Information Simply
In order to be more direct with your boss, you need to take the time to be clear on what you intend to say. Think about what you want to discuss with your boss and break it down as simply as possible. Focus on a few key talking points. This will help you to feel more confident when speaking because you will know exactly what you need to say in a clear and simple way.
Avoid Over Explaining
Over explaining will take any direct statement and make it cloudy. Many of us end up over explaining when we are uncomfortable or unclear on the outcome. Even the pressure of wanting your boss to take your thoughts seriously can cause it. However, if you really want to be more direct with your boss, you need to avoid this at all costs. After you have learned how to break down your request or ideas simply, trust in them. If your boss asks questions, answer them. Otherwise, assume your simple overview is good enough and give them time to respond.
Build The Rapport
One great way to get comfortable with being more direct with your boss is to build the rapport. Relating to your boss and getting more comfortable speaking with them is an excellent way to become more direct over time. When you know your boss better, you will feel more confident in how to approach them and convey the information that you want to share.
Practice Your Eye Contact
Maintaining eye contact can be so helpful when it comes to direct speaking. Instead of shying away, focus on looking your boss directly in the eyes and speaking clearly. This will get you more comfortable with presenting professional information and feeling like you deserve to be in the room. All too often we feel like we are wasting someone’s time. It’s time to leave that school of thought behind and enter the room as a respectable member of the company.
Be Informed and Prepared When Communicating
In order to be direct with your boss, you need to understand what you are communicating. Being informed and prepared to discuss the topic that you want to address is crucial. It will give you the confidence to break down your needs and will make it easier for you to get the most out of the conversation. If your boss loves the idea and wants to discuss it, you can show off how prepared you are on the topic, which is a great way to show that you came for a deliberate conversation.
Think About The Questions They Might Have
When you have feedback, an idea, or information to share, you might feel worried about how it will be received. To fix these concerns, it can be helpful to take the time to consider what questions they might have. This will allow you to go into the meeting completely prepared and will show your boss that you thought everything through. When you anticipate questions and are ready to answer, you will worry less and feel better walking into the conversation.
Expand Your Physical Presence
This is one old trick that works well when you’re trying to be more confident in your speaking and delivery. Before you walk in, check your body posture. Make sure that your shoulders are straight and that you aren’t caving to the weight of the message that you want to convey. Open up your body, take a deep breath, and step into the room ready to meet your boss on an equal level.
Honesty is a great way to build your direct sentiments. Instead of sugar-coating or dancing around in an attempt to avoid offense, consider the truth behind what you want to say. Many people avoid being direct with their bosses because they are afraid to come off wrong. Find your personal truth and the reason that you want to share the information, then use this to focus your statement. Being honest is the best way to be a completely direct speaker across all circumstances.
Most people in management prefer direct conversation. Even though they are your boss, it is important to remember that they are also busy people who appreciate concise conversation. Focus on understanding your intentions when you speak so that you can simplify your language and drive your point home. As long as you remain respectful and honest, you will find that being more direct is actually quite a bit easier than dancing around the topic. Direct speaking helps you to avoid confusion, save time, and shows that you know what you are talking about. Remember, being direct does not mean being rude. Go in prepared, but don’t oversimplify so much that you miss the point. With these things in mind, you will do great!