Your boss. The guy, or woman, with the big kahunas and all the power. Your boss goes by many names, superior, CEO, leader, supervisor, top dog, and probably some other nicknames you’ve come up with behind his back. Some poor, unfortunate souls have to deal with the fact that their boss is an idiot on a daily basis. The truth is that your boss is the most important individual when it comes to your professional life. He or she is the one who hired you and they are the one that could fire you. If your boss or supervisor is pleased with your work, then your career can advance and you can quickly move up the ladder. If you want to move companies at a certain point and you have a great professional relationship with them, then they’ll be more than willing to give you a glowing recommendation. But if your boss thinks that you’re a lazy sack of nothing then you are likely to walk away with nothing pretty soon.
In order to stay in the good graces of your boss there are a few things you shouldn’t do. For one, you shouldn’t sass the boss. He is in a position of power and you should talk to him with respect. He isn’t your best friend or your work companion, so if you want to keep your job, you are best to remember that. Second, you should listen. Listening to the advice and direction of your superior is critical to the betterment of the company and your personal career growth. Lastly, don’t question the boss. No one, especially your boss, likes to be challenged or have their knowledge questioned. If you don’t want to receive the death glare, don’t bombard your boss with non-stop questions. But there are loop-holes when it comes to asking questions. You are not expected to be a mime at the office. There are certain times when questioning your boss is needed. If you are in doubt about when you should speak up in the office then check out the list below.
1. You Feel Uncomfortable
Respect is something that should be mutually given throughout the office. With respect, comes awareness and political correctness. Everyone in the office, including your boss, should understand the difference between being rude and being critical. There may be times when a superior needs to hold someone accountable for a mistake. And he will do that by sometimes yelling and sometimes making you feel stupid. But there is never a need for derogatory words to be used when scolding someone. In fact, derogatory words shouldn’t be used at anytime or anyplace. If your boss gets carried away and you start to feel uncomfortable, that would be a great time to question him. Question his motivation, his judgement, and his end game, when it comes to his use of language. And when things calm down make sure you go to him explaining how he made you feel uncomfortable. Remain calm and keep yourself together, don’t act insulted (even if you have every reason to be), simply explain that in the future they should refrain from calling you names.
Another example of feeling uncomfortable is when your boss asks you to do something you don’t feel completely confident about doing. The task may not sit right with you, either because it falls outside your job description, or because you’ve never been shown how to do it. In that case you have a duty to yourself to ask your boss why? Why is he sending you out to perform this unnerving job? You would be doing yourself an injustice if you didn’t ask. If the task would make you feel too uncomfortable speak up, nothing good ever comes out of feeling uncomfortable and awkward.
2. It’s About Your Money
If anyone ever says that they work because they enjoy it, they are lying their butts off. Don’t get me wrong, you can love your job, I hope you do, but it always come down to money. If you were not getting paid, would you keep on doing your job? Money is the life line for everything. You need it to eat, you need it to sleep comfortably and safe, you need it to buy your work attire, and you need it to have a social life. Money rules the world, and anyone that tells you differently is delusional.
If you run into issues with your paycheck, such as not being paid the accurate amount or not being paid on time, don’t hesitate to ask your boss about it. He knows the importance of money and he is not oblivious to the struggles that can occur when your bank account is lacking funds. There is no shame in wanting the money that you worked hard for. Ask your boss ‘what’s up’, but in a respectful way.
3. You Have a More Feasible Solution
Companies are constantly looking for solutions to arising problems. The problems are sometimes internal, dealing with the organization of the business or employee morale. Some problems are external and deal with customer service, marketing, or sales. No matter what the problem is, it won’t go away unless a solution is found. There will be those moments when your boss comes to you with an idea to fix a problem and you may not think it is the best idea. You may have a better, more feasible solution to the issue and that is perfectly okay. Ask your boss if you could make a suggestion or if he thinks that your solution wouldn’t be the best fix. Don’t worry about him feeling like an idiot for not thinking about that solution first. He will appreciate your creativeness and adept problem solving skills.
4. You Don’t Want Your Boss to Embarrass Himself or the Company
Your boss may know a lot about his field, but that does not mean that he is perfect. He is human, just like the rest of us. You are the boss’ second hand and he comes to you for everything. However that doesn’t mean that you should hesitate in telling him that a presentation he’s prepared for prospective clients is not of good quality when you feel that he could embarrass himself and the company if he gave it. When he asks you what you thought about his presentation, ask him where he got his information from. Ask him if he thought that the presentation was good enough. Ask him questions so that he comes to the conclusion that maybe his presentation was not up to par and he needs to rework it. Just imagine if you let him embarrass himself. That would be your head.
5. You Need Further Explanation
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, there is nothing wrong with asking questions. Just make sure that they are relevant questions and you are listening to the answers. You may feel that asking a question for clarification is dumb, but it would prevent a lot of problems later down the road. If you need further explanation for a process or program you just don’t understand, ask your boss to help you. Most likely he won’t mind making sure that you understand and he won’t mind teaching you something new. He might actually enjoy showing off his smarts.
There is value in asking questions at work. There is even more value in asking your supervisor questions. You may feel uncomfortable about approaching your superior with questions, but some things you just have to do. If you never approach your boss about your missing paycheck, you may never get paid. If you never ask your boss the challenging questions, your career may never take off. If you accept the unbearable tasks your boss assigns to you, you will always feel uneasy in your own skin. Ask questions for the right reasons. Your boss will understand.