It’s time for a lesson in Boss Communication 101. Because experts say every exchange with your boss is a chance to thrive at work. So, here’s how to talk to your boss the right way.

  • First: Always have a point. Because no matter what you have to say, your boss’s time is more valuable than yours! So, use it wisely, say what you need to say first. Then, let the boss decide if there’s extra time to shoot the breeze.
  • And keep that in mind when sending emails and texts to your boss. Experts say the goal of your messages should be to share work-related news, and keep your boss in the loop. But save the nitty-gritty details for when you talk to the boss in person. So, a good email would say something like: “Just met with the client. They love our ideas. Should I send over the proposal?” That way, the boss can make a quick “yes” or “no” decision, or call if he needs more information.
  • Another Boss Communication tip: Listen more than you talk. It turns out, bosses tend to prefer workers who spend more time listening than talking. First, experts say it makes the boss feel more important to know that you’ll sit and soak in his wisdom. Plus, workers who show that they won’t waste time talking the boss’s ear off about trivial things are viewed as being more productive.
  • One more tip: Don’t be afraid to share bad news with the boss. Experts say every workplace has people who go out of their way to avoid angering the boss. The problem is that hiding bad news is as bad as lying. So, even if your boss has a reputation for yelling and screaming, don’t be afraid to step up and tell him when a project is going to be delayed, for example. He’ll respect you more knowing you’ve got the company’s best interests in mind, not yours.