Meeting with the boss can be nerve-wracking. No matter how nice they are, at the end of the day, bosses are bosses and you want to enter and leave their office having made a good impression.
Surprisingly, not too many people prepare for a meeting with their boss, though bosses don’t like dealing with employees who are unprepared in any aspect of their work, especially when it comes to a meeting.
It’s not the time to play it by ear, maybe winding up saying something wrong or saying something that could ruin any opportunity for moving up. So, here are some pointers on how to get ready for the big one-on-one.
Have an agenda ready: Your boss isn’t asking you in for a chit-chat. Many times update on work will be requested, so prioritize the most important updates to give your boss. You have to prioritize them because you won’t have all day, and some updates might take too long unless your boss specifically asks for it.
Discuss what’s been motivating you: Generally, expressing what’s been keeping you motivated would interest your boss. Even if he doesn’t ask, it’s a good time to bring it up. For example, maybe a certain project is very invigorating for you so this is something you can share.
Choose your words: During the one-on-one, don’t blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind on any topic. Give yourself a few seconds to think before answering. Those few seconds can make a big difference between making a fatal mistake and making the impression you want to make. If you’re a non-native English speaker, this is even more important. You might want to consider taking an IELTS course prior to your meeting, which will undoubtedly also help you in future meetings and in your work in general. Even if you begin to take it just a few days ahead, it will help you to brush up on your language skill.
Ask questions: one-on-one is the perfect time to ask questions. Asking questions shows your interest in what is happening in the business now and helps you better to understand what is expected of you, plus opens the door to know more about future plans for the company and for you.
Give your input: Don’t be just a ‘yes man’ and agree with everything your boss says. It’s alright to give your input in a non-confrontational way. Successful bosses are interested to know what their employees can offer. When you give input, it will show your commitment to the company. It’s also a good time to make commitments out loud to your boss, but obviously, don’t commit to something you can’t deliver.
Whatever you do, don’t walk in with a negative attitude. If something is really bothering you on the job, the meeting might give you the opportunity to voice your opinion. Be confident and proactive and show your boss your capabilities. When you put thought into all of this, it will create a better relationship between you and the boss.