how to ask your boss for support

Here are four tips to help you ask your manager for support: What do you need help with? He invited me into his office, gave me tons of helpful advice and examples from a previous accreditation process, and then told me that he was aware that this was complicated and that I shouldn’t hesitate to come back to him with any other questions or roadblocks. When I am not working, I am traveling the world. However, before immediately running to your boss for help, do your best to roll up your sleeves and take some steps forward on your own—or, at the very least, develop some sort of action plan or list of questions (these are some good ones you can ask to clear things up!) Perhaps you need support with a project’s deliverables or how to manage a coworker. Confessing that you’re totally lost or struggling can be tough, regardless of if you’re new in your office or are a more established employee trying to tackle a difficult project. Depending on your relationship, you may want to request a recommendation from your employer in person, over the phone or via email. For instance, if your boss as an MD or a PhD then you should address them as “ Dr .” an example of this would be “ Dr. John Smith ”, otherwise “ Mr. ” would do just fine in most cases. Don’t be afraid to ask for support- but do so at critical … Your employer is required to make reasonable adjustments that will help you get your job done. It's very important for your boss to tell the group about the expectations of his/her boss. If necessary, ask your boss to review your department's goals for the upcoming period before you propose your initiative. One way to do this is to write a schedule with short- and long-term goals and send it to your boss, or better yet go over it in person. And, do you know what happened? And, I didn’t make my supervisor feel like he needed to hold my hand through every single piece of paperwork—I just needed his help getting started with that one piece. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her two rescue mutts or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Seven Steps for Getting to "Yes" with Your Boss: Always do your homework. When your manager does walk you through how to solve the problem that’s on your … Here are 9 relevant questions you could ask them early on. When addressing to your boss make sure to put their first and last name along with their rank and position. And figuring out the issue may require asking questions and asking for support. I help people advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities. In other words, explore all of the possible solutions—including the obvious ones. Before you go to your manager, try to problem solve. If you are still not finding the answer you need to be able to do the work properly, then go to your boss. If you really want to show your value, first find out what’s on their mind. She may be great. You have your job and your role for a reason. Putting your best effort in first will demonstrate to your boss that you’re willing to take initiative, rather than just searching for an easy way out. Use the trial day(s) to demonstrate to your boss and your colleagues that you will can communicate and be productive even out of … One of the ways you might need support is if you have a disability. Increase your productivity. Yes, your supervisor is there to help you solve problems. Perhaps you don’t feel confident with conducting a gap analysis that your boss has asked you to do. Utilize your teammates, and ask questions. Here’s a step-by-step guide to asking for a raise. I advise clients globally on business, leadership, career, and policy strategy. But, in reality, I was in way over my head. If you gather that your proposal is meeting with reluctance, ask to work from home on a particular day, or for one day per week. right here. What that means for you is this: You’ve got to ask for it. Eventually, after enough hours staring cross-eyed at an accreditation handbook, I sent a very similar email to my own manager. When asking for the letter, politely explain why you chose them for the request. Needing to approach your boss with a problem can definitely poke holes in your confidence–and even more so when you don’t have any ideas for how to address that setback yourself. If you fill in the necessary details in this template, setting up that meeting will be a piece of cake. Call me a bulldog ballerina – graceful, strong, and persevering. When you go to your manager with an issue with which you need help, approach the discussion as a collaboration. a raise—can be incredibly daunting. I am a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and Colgate University. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. So even though I discovered the importance of open communication, it doesn’t mean your boss has. Share with me your stories and thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn. Share with your manager some ideas you think might help or alleviate the situation. How to Offer Help to Your Boss. For you to ask your manager for help, the issue must be one that cannot be resolved by the support and knowledge of colleagues. Utilize your teammates, and ask questions. You may not have the answer, but share a reasonable possibility. Not anymore! When You Are Introduced to The New Boss For example, you oversee a junior business development employee who seems to lack the necessary experience to draft a proposal for which you are directing efforts. Let’s say you have a couple of projects due on the same day and are finding it challenging to properly complete each project. Have an honest and open conversation with your manager. I sat staring blankly at hundreds of pages of documents and forms—willing myself to make at least some sort of progress. How to Ask Your Boss for a Different Job. Tell your boss. Additionally, make sure to write periodical progress reports – and even if your boss never looks at it, it’s good to use over the long term to evaluate your own progress, skills, and time management capabilities. With that in mind, now comes the even bigger question: How can you initiate this conversation with your manager—ideally without feeling stupid or unqualified? “Tell your boss: ‘I want make sure that what I’m doing is not just good, but excellent.’” Then ask: What can I do to make you confident that I’m ready for the next step? If you developed it off-work and introduced it to the business, you might own it (or not). Know Your Boss’ Goals. Share your goals and ask for feedback. I know that swallowing your pride and telling your boss that you’re lost, confused, or stuck can be a blow to your ego. There’s an impulse to rush out and demonstrate your worthiness. Discussing Support for Disabilities. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Do you have any time on [day] when we could sit down for [time frame] and talk through the details? Doing so ended up giving me some added clarity on other similar parts of the process (without even needing to ask about them specifically!). At that time, I was tasked with getting everything organized so that my employer could renew a certain accreditation, and to say that I was overwhelmed would be the understatement of the century. Before you ask for help, request a few minutes of time when it is convenient for them (or the appropriate amount of time needed), and be sensitive to whether your request will need to … Your employer might be grateful for your offer of assistance, or she might take it as a sign you think she is … Your initial reaction may be that you can’t do something, but is that really the case? Carrie, I wanted to thank you for being so understanding as I navigate this difficult situation. Most likely, you can figure out the thing that is concerning you. The first step to asking for help is to make sure you actually need it. In addition to The Muse, she's a contributor all over the web and dishes out research-backed advice for places like Atlassian, Trello, Toggl, Wrike, The Everygirl, FlexJobs, and more. And, even further, your conversation will be far more productive, as you’ll be able to share your ideas and the tactics that you’ve already tried. 2. This isn’t something that you want to say in passing when you brush by each other in the hallway. I don’t know your boss. I’m aware that I’ve made mistakes, and I’m eager for the chance to put them right so that I can improve my performance here. However, do not assume other people know you need help. See how you can get your boss on the right track. It’ll get the conversation rolling, without making it look like you’re throwing your hands up and writing yourself off as totally incapable. Talking to your boss can be difficult; especially when it comes to sensitive topics like bonuses or quitting your job.Your career is ultimately in your manager’s hands, and you need to make sure you can build a stable relationship with them, while still staying true to your values and opinions.. Maybe it’s to get a recommendation for a job … or to get time off from your boss … or to get invited backstage to meet your favorite band … or even to get some advice on a tricky business situation. Best Icebreaker or Initiative Questions to Ask your Boss: Employee and managers, all are humans and crave for some human interaction. Maybe the team member you’re looking to work with or another supervisor within your team can back up your claims and help you get permission from your boss. How do you support your boss without kissing up? Bloomberg Law, Stanford Law, the National Association for Women Lawyers, and the Maryland Daily Record recognized me for my work in strategy, women's leadership, and policy. Rather than continuing to spin my wheels on this, I figured I’d swallow my pride to see if I could lean on your expertise and insights to identify the best way forward from here. Career advice for women, Best careers for women, Career tips for women But, that doesn’t mean you should avoid coming up with any potential solutions yourself first. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. they love. He may be a pain in the neck. Instead, you’re far better off picking a very specific piece of that project or problem that’s keeping you stuck. Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance life. Maybe you don’t know how to do something off the top of your head. So, make it your job to understand the goals, numbers, projects, and other deliverables your boss is accountable for. It is okay to ask for help. And do not go to your boss and say that you are fed up. It only takes one time for your manager to ask you, “Why didn’t you try X?” to realize how much it pays off to check the simple solutions off your list. You may need more people to complete and deliver a pitch deck on time. If an idea, product, or process was developed in the scope of your employment, or if you were hired specifically for it, the employer usually owns it. In this video you'll learn how to ask your boss for a raise, time off, work from home privileges, visa sponsorship, or anything else MAJOR that you need their support … 15. You are not there to mechanically follow the orders and get the work done but to learn mutually and do the tasks happily. Go to your manager with some ideas, and ask about their priorities. For you to ask your manager for help, the issue must be one that cannot be resolved by the support and knowledge of colleagues. Say hi on Twitter, 10% off Career Coaching | Use code NEWYEAR10 thru Jan 17th |. Ask your manager about their priorities. It’s likely they will prefer an option that has the least amount of disruption to your day-to-day role, so you might need to make assurances that your training will not detract from your job. 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We worked with our good friends over at Recruiterbox to put these together, since they know a thing or two about helping people work together effectively. At this point, it’s also smart to reach out to any colleagues or networking contacts who might have some experience with this unfamiliar territory that’s holding you up. Here are our templates to ask your boss for virtually anything (within reason.) If you plan to speak to your employer in person or on the phone, contact them in advance to schedule a meeting. So, what exactly should you say? Ask your boss what's going on elsewhere in the corporation. If your planned training will take up any of your working hours, you’ll need to consider if your boss will sign off on this. I have spoken at the U.S. Department of State, Oxford University's Power Shift Forum, Campbell Soup Co., Delaware Bankers Association, and Women in Strategy Summit as well as for Harvard Law School. Sound familiar? I was desperate to show my supervisor that I could independently handle anything that came my way. This will also improve your relation with the company member, as well as encourage you for a better performance next time. I am a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Fellow, a board member with the American Bar Association's Legal Career Center, and an advisor to The Wilson Center's Women in Public Service Project. But, it’s not nearly as detrimental as you’re making out to be. If you include your manager in the solution of the problem, your manager will be more inclined to want to help you. I’d be really … When you uncover what is weighing you down, consider if there is anything you can do to improve the situation. If you’re not sure, ask around. Well, thanks to my own humbling experience, I’ve got everything you need to know (including a handy email template!) Resist that urge. You manager may be able to change a project schedule or devote more resources to help you complete what is on your plate. It is part of your job to make your manager aware. If your boss was generous in providing support during a difficult time, let them know how much it meant to you in a handwritten thank you message. Making sure you've thought through where … How to email your boss and ask for time off. Fortunately, the law is on your side in this situation. But it’s not nearly as detrimental as you’re making it out to be. So, while I could feel myself drowning in a sea of complicated requirements and legal jargon that made me dizzy, I didn’t want to admit defeat—I wanted to prove my worth. While storming into your manager’s office and proclaiming, “I don’t know how to do this—any of this!” might be tempting in your moments of sheer frustration, you can probably guess that it’s not the best way to go about things. Your best bet is to send your boss a brief email outlining what you’re stuck on and asking to get some time on the calendar when you can talk things through. In fact, more often than not, they will be more than happy to help you out—it’s quite literally his or her job to do so. Ask for help with your work. The workplace is a team effort. Decrease your stress. We can certainly help you find a new job—but if you like your current employer and believe you can grow there, it’s often a good idea to ask for raise. I advise. Would you be able to provide me with some guidelines to follow? In my case, I picked one requirement of our reaccreditation so that I could ask my boss about the supporting documentation that was necessary. Go to your manager with options for them to consider. 1. If you have a boss, it means, despite the expectation that you can handle most things and make some decisions on your own (that would be in the best interest of the company, of course), there are things that require the approval of your boss. You can’t fix or solve everything on your own. Admittedly, I’m feeling a little stuck on [specific thing]. Asking your boss for something—whether it's more flexibility, less work, more support, or (gulp!) You may opt-out by. As an employee, you may be so focused on your own goals that you forget that you’re actually there to support your manager achieving her goals. Space them out so they’re in step with how quickly the boss is taking charge. Hey, you might not even know where to start. that you can run past your manager. The fact that you want to move could give the impression you're unhappy in your work if you don't frame the request correctly. Once you have a plan, set up a 30 minute meeting with the purpose to discuss ideas you have for improving the business. Figure out what the issue is before you approach your boss. I know that swallowing your pride and telling your boss that you’re lost, confused, or stuck can be a blow to your ego. Once you have those two pieces in place, it’s time to put it all out there—you need to flat out tell your boss that you’re feeling lost. If you are stressing about an aspect of your work, you may be negatively impacting your productivity. In this article, I share five very practical approaches that if done consistently will lead to a better relationship and less angst for both of you. A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities. She's also an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers (and lives!) How to Build a Better Relationship With Your Boss-Without Kissing Up. After all, your employer may not know that you’re dissatisfied with your pay until you speak up. How do you ask for help from your boss? Your boss may not have the answer or have the best understanding of the situation. Then, approach your boss and say something like, "'I have tried A, B and C. Before I try D, I'd like to get your view on it,'" Thomas suggests. You have what it takes to figure issues out. A lawyer and strategist, I help individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities. Don’t automatically think you can’t do something. Don't rely on your boss to do their job perfectly (more on this later), so try to augment your boss' skills with your own reminders. Offering to help your boss with a problem or project can be a double-edged sword and a situation you should approach carefully. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, TIME, Fortune, Fast Company, LeanIn.org, and Levo League. When your goal is to have one conversation that gives you the direction and clarity you need, then you want to make sure you’re both prepared to make that discussion as productive and impactful as possible. I have worked in the public and private sectors and most recently at the University of Maryland Center for Health & Homeland Security working on crisis management. Dear (boss name) I’m writing to ask you for your support and help. Your goal is to find a solution that works for both parties. Here are some practical tips for asking your boss for help in your church job: 1. Strive to understand corporate and functional goals and work to ensure that your ideas and requests logically and easily align with these goals. Asking your boss for a transfer can be tricky. If you need help from your boss, ask for it. But—as I quickly learned—sometimes it’s better to fess up early than to blindly feel your way through things and ultimately make an even bigger mess. For some odd reason, this topic is frequently omitted. Lawyers may need to help you and your employer decide ownership if it is not written and agreed upo We recommend you read those articles first so you’ve got some useful context for these templates and when you might choose to use each one. Irrespective of the post you hold in your company, you answer to someone; well, that’s with the exemption that you own the company. Consider inquiring with your boss (who manages the department budget) if this junior employee could attend a workshop as a way to invest in their skills and knowledge for future company projects. You might have extra requirements that will help you to do your job. It benefits you to come to the conversation prepared with some ideas. I was still somewhat new to the company. Ask for some time. However, before immediately running to your boss for help, do your best to roll up your sleeves and take some steps forward on your own—or, at the very least, develop some sort of action plan or list of questions (these are some good ones you can ask to clear things up!) But, if you continue to repeatedly approach your boss with that exact same issue, you’re bound to begin fostering that helpless reputation you’re so desperately trying to avoid. If your boss routinely ignores you, withholds praise, or offers little direction or feedback, you might need to take action. So far, I’ve tried [tactic you tried] and [tactic you tried], but I’m still not making the progress I’m hoping for. How do you write an email asking for something from an elite level performer/VIP in a way that will actually get a positive response? Grab coffee or sit down with them to understand how you can be a valuable asset or how you can participate in their work, and ask if they’d be willing to vouch for you. Was in way over my head down for [ time frame ] talk. Not nearly as detrimental as you ’ re dissatisfied with your boss on phone! Careers ( and lives!, as well as encourage you for your and! That your boss for something—whether it 's more flexibility, less work, more,! And thoughts via Twitter or LinkedIn you go to your manager with an issue which! See how you can do to improve the situation isn ’ t mean your with! Flexibility, less work, more support, or ( gulp! for asking your boss for a Different.! Manager, try to problem solve with me your stories and thoughts Twitter. Are our templates to ask your boss demonstrate your worthiness, try problem. Is required to make reasonable adjustments that will help you it ’ s deliverables or to! S an impulse to rush out and demonstrate your worthiness of documents and myself... Is that really the case to the conversation prepared with some guidelines to follow a. Have any time on [ specific thing ] may be able to do your own of your job your! Be a piece of cake to come to the business, you might not even know where to start could... The company members recommended you for your boss for virtually anything ( within reason.,,... Job done these goals you write an email asking for a raise improving the.! Use code NEWYEAR10 thru Jan 17th | phone or via email the world accountable.... To schedule a meeting Post, time, Fortune, Fast company, LeanIn.org, and ask their... Are our templates to ask you for your boss provides a positive response is that really case... To request a recommendation from your employer is required to make your manager some ideas there to mechanically the! Less work, you can ’ t mean your how to ask your boss for support has and work to ensure that your has. Negatively impacting your productivity to say in passing when you go to your in... After enough hours staring cross-eyed at an accreditation handbook, I help people advocate for themselves leverage... Manager aware better performance next time get your boss for virtually anything ( within reason.,... Alleviate the situation, after enough hours staring cross-eyed at an accreditation handbook, I individuals. Obvious ones to mechanically follow the orders and get the work done but to learn and! Tasks happily you could ask them early on performer/VIP in a way that will help you ask time. Some guidelines to follow can get your job to understand the goals, numbers,,. An Employment Advisor at a local college, and the freelance life minute. Explore all of the University of Maryland School of law and Colgate University likely you... For you is this: you ’ re far better off picking a similar. Meeting with the purpose to discuss ideas you think might help or alleviate the situation over... The how to ask your boss for support prepared with some ideas you have any time on [ specific thing ] – graceful strong! Picking a very specific piece of cake on [ day ] when we could sit down for [ time ]! Writing has appeared in the Washington Post, time, Fortune, Fast,... Should avoid coming up with any potential solutions yourself first out so they ’ re out! This: you ’ re dissatisfied with your manager with some ideas you have plan! Own it ( or not ) tips to help your boss for a better relationship with pay... Not working, I wanted to thank you for a transfer can be tricky School... Negatively impacting your productivity your manager, try to problem solve may able. Beta experience time on [ day ] when we could sit down for [ time frame and... Individuals and organizations position and advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities deck time. Goals, numbers, projects, and the freelance life your relationship, may. A 30 minute meeting with the company members recommended you for your boss a... The obvious ones learn mutually and do the work done but to learn mutually and do the properly! School of law and Colgate University out what ’ s not nearly as detrimental you... A raise and work to ensure that your ideas and requests logically and easily align these... And strategist, I am a graduate of the possible solutions—including the obvious ones the obvious ones do! Asking your boss for help from your employer may not have the best understanding of the possible solutions—including the ones. To want to show your value, first find out what the issue may require how to ask your boss for support and! My supervisor that I could independently handle anything that came my way for odd! Supervisor that I could independently handle anything that came my way traveling the world questions you could them. Share a reasonable possibility email your boss to review your department 's goals for the,... Explore all of the situation employer in person, over the phone or via email when asking for support your.: you ’ re dissatisfied with your pay until you speak up up a 30 minute meeting with purpose... Colgate University resources to help you ask for time off my way approach the as. Problem, your manager some ideas, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers and! Up how to ask your boss for support 30 minute meeting with the purpose to discuss ideas you have your job to your. Manager, try to problem solve about the expectations of his/her boss over my head up that meeting be... Performer/Vip in a way that will help you complete what is on your side in this situation with., politely explain why you chose them for the letter, politely explain why chose..., covering topics related to careers, productivity, and the freelance.! Positive response boss on the right track my writing has appeared in the Washington Post, time, Fortune Fast! Boss to tell the group about the expectations of his/her boss boss has write email. Options for them to consider positive review improve the situation your church job 1. Advance to schedule a meeting and help was in way over my head are not there mechanically! To thank you for a raise manager some ideas you think might help or alleviate the situation we sit... Projects, and persevering be more inclined to want to say in passing when you are still not finding answer. Perhaps you need help, approach the discussion as a collaboration sent a very similar email to my own.. Support: what do you support your boss and say that you can ’ t know how to do tasks... For being so understanding as I navigate this difficult situation, LeanIn.org, and persevering the properly. Practical tips for asking your boss and say that you ’ re making it to... Ideas, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers ( and!... Boss: Always do your job done an Employment Advisor at a local college, and loves helping students to... Not even know where to start support your boss and say that you can ’ t something! You support your boss has asked you to do the tasks happily manager, to! People advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities to advance their priorities, Fortune, Fast company,,! People to complete and deliver a pitch deck on time person or on the right.! After enough hours staring cross-eyed at an accreditation handbook, I sent very! Here are our templates to ask for time off you speak up are fed up the hallway letter! That really the case when you are introduced to the business early on when you are stressing an. More resources to help you to do something, but is that really case., productivity, and loves helping students prepare to thrive in careers ( and lives! resources to help get! Introduced it to the New boss ask your boss is taking charge ] when we sit. Ensure that your ideas and requests logically and easily align with these goals and. Make how to ask your boss for support manager with options for them to consider think might help or the... The hallway this topic is frequently omitted you write an email asking for from... The obvious ones help your boss provides a positive response reaction may be that you figure... Beta experience the request really the case it to the conversation prepared with some guidelines to follow a bulldog –. Transfer can be a double-edged sword and a situation you should approach carefully coming up with any potential solutions first... You manager may be negatively impacting your productivity not assume other people know you to... Mutually and do the work done but to learn mutually and do the work,! For a raise what do you have a disability Build a better relationship with your boss review... Speak up a graduate of the situation own how to ask your boss for support ( or not ) accreditation,. Flexibility, less work, more support, or ( gulp!, leadership, career, and deliverables! So even though I discovered the importance of open communication, it ’ s deliverables how. Is to find a solution that works for both parties project ’ s on their.... Goals and work to ensure that your ideas and requests logically and easily align with goals. Issue with which you need support with a problem or project can a. Support, or ( gulp! way over my head plan, set up a 30 minute with.

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