When we’re children we think our parents are superheroes; they’re brave, know absolutely everything about everything and are completely in control. However, the older we get the more it becomes apparent that our parents are actually just plain old, regular human beings. They make mistakes, get scared and are wrong about a lot of stuff. Some of us find this realisation comforting, others are disappointed by it, but ultimately nothing can detract from the fact that they are just mortal earthlings.
The same can be said for our bosses. When we first start a new job we feel a sincere trust and respect for our superiors, but this can often fray after a while when we see them make mistakes or when we feel underappreciated.
Although it can be difficult to adjust to the idea that your parents are human beings, it should come as no surprise that your boss falls under the same category. It would be great if they had psychic abilities and could predict the future, but unfortunately they can’t.
The only sure-fire way to ensure your boss acknowledges your achievements, appreciates how busy you are and can help you when you need them most is to communicate with them.
This doesn’t mean bothering them whenever you have a passing thought or by having lengthy, emotionally charged one-to-one sessions. We find the best way to keep your boss updated is simply by sending a structured email once a week with 3 main points, detailing:
- The work you’ve completed that week
- What you’ve worked on that week (including moved deadlines/obstacles)
- What you’ve waiting on that week (including completed tasks that require sign- off/contributions from colleagues)
This email succinctly tells your boss what you’ve done well, what you’re struggling with and what they can do to help solve. It takes very little out of your day, takes even less time for your boss to read and immediately puts you and your boss on the same page. It’s like a software update – only you don’t have to wait two hours for your machine to restart twice.
A single email may seem inconsequential, but it’s less time-consuming than a face-to-face meeting and more personal than a report. It could make a world of difference to your relationship with both your boss and your company as a whole and is a positive and proactive way to evaluate everyday working life.
So your boss may just be a regular human being who needs to be prompted every now and again, but don’t be disheartened. After all, anyone could be a boss someday. Even you.