Questions to Ask Your Boss
The relationship with your boss can be particularly tricky and challenging. Even if you’re prepared and know all the technical skills and capabilities you need to perform your job well, it’s easy to feel awkward and insecure around your new supervisor. So, how can you make the best of this challenging situation? The truth is that the work only gets done when people work well together, and ultimately, the success or failure of your working relationship with your boss will greatly impact your ability to thrive in your new role.
According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, developing a good relationship with your boss is essential to your success in the workplace. He offers some questions you can ask to help you get the relationship off to the right start:
1. How do you prefer to communicate?
This question is a good place to start because it helps you overcome the biggest hurdle in the beginning – communication. Your boss may want updates in person, or they may want them by email. Knowing how to communicate with your boss is vital to your success, so this is an important question.
2. Where would you like for me to focus my attention?
The more specific your boss can be about what they would like you to focus on, the better. In general, they will want you to pay attention to the most pressing problems and opportunities that require immediate attention.
3. How can I further develop my potential?
This question is great if you need to stretch, try new things and explore more of your potential. No one can tell you this better than your boss, so use this opportunity to find out what you should focus on to get ahead in the company. This is also a great question if you want to grow in your job role.
4. What is something you’re proud of from your time here at the company?
This is a great way to show appreciation for your boss and for being part of the team. It’s also a great opportunity to be humble and appreciate what others have done in the past. This is a terrific question to ask at the beginning of your time together, as it gives you both a chance to open up.
5. What would you do if you were in my situation?
This question is great to ask if you need advice on something. Perhaps you’re having trouble with a client or boss and don’t know how to handle it. Or maybe the company is sending everyone through a new computer training program, and you have questions about how it will affect your job. This question is great to ask if you need help solving a problem.
6. What can I do to add value to the company?
This is another good question if you’re looking for ideas on how to grow in your role and make the most of your time with the company. Your boss will have great insight into your role and how it can be improved.
These are some questions you can ask your boss that will help you build a mutually beneficial working relationship. Dr. Jordan Sudberg argues that by taking the time to discover who your new boss is and what they want, you’ll be able to get off on the right foot and make sure that the work-life at your new job is as seamless and as productive as possible.