1. Keep your boss informed. Your boss doesn’t like surprises. If something bad has happened it’s better they find out from you now than from someone else later.
  2. Update your boss frequently on your progress, good and bad and what you may need help with in the future.
  3. Get your facts straight. What management needs is unarguable objective evidence.
  4. Be prepared. Think about what questions your boss may ask and make sure you have researched the answers.
  5. Be specific. Keep updates short and to the point. Explain the bottom line. If you need something, be specific. Saying “I need help” is vague. Better to say “I need [name] help for four hours on this project.
  6. Don’t oversell. Once the boss has said yes, stop talking and say thank you. More justification gives the boss time to re-evaluate your logic. You got what your wanted. Leave happy.
  7. Be solution focussed. We all have problems. Your boss has big problems. Offer solutions supported by facts and how the problem is solved with your resource request.
  8. Accept that you probably don’t know the full picture. There will be things going on that you aren’t aware of. Your solutions may be excellent given the information you have. But may not be perfect in the bigger picture – which you don’t have.
  9. Try not to view feedback from the boss as criticism. Try to view it as feedback and use it to take corrective action and not to offer excuses or to be defensive.
  10. Make your boss look good to his/her superior. If you do choose to say something about your boss, focus on the behaviour rather than the person and be positive eg. Boss’s practise of doing xxx really helps us, I hope he/she keeps doing that.

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