Quick tips for advocating with your boss
- Quick tip 1Test the waters.Test the waters.
Not sure how your boss will react? It’s OK to start small, like asking to wear headphones because it’s noisy.
- Quick tip 2Make time to talk.Make time to talk.
You want your boss’s full attention, so ask for a few minutes to talk one-on-one.
- Quick tip 3Be specific about the “ask.”Be specific about the “ask.”
Managers are busy and often respond best when you have a single, clear request.
- Quick tip 4Explain why.Explain why.
Make sure to explain how your request will help you do your job better. If you can, explain why it’s good for your employer too.
Even the best employees need support on the job sometimes. They also know that small changes can make a big difference. But how do you ask your boss for what you need to thrive at work?
Most bosses want you to do well at your job, because it makes the company more successful. But you have to take the initiative.
Begin by planning out what you want to ask for. Maybe you need your boss to give you a clear list of tasks. Or space to cool off after talking to a customer. It may help to write down or record your request.
If you don’t know what will help, be clear about the challenge. Is the videoconference so noisy that you get distracted? Is it hard to take notes mid-meeting?
Next, set aside time to talk with your boss. Avoid starting a conversation during a busy meeting or when your boss is stressed.
Your employer hired you because you are qualified. So approach the request like a regular part of work. You don’t need to reveal your life story. If you have a learning or thinking difference like ADHD, or a disability, it can help to share. But it’s not required.
You just need to be ready to advocate for what you need.