As a public sector worker, you might have weekly one-on-one meetings with your superior. While you may consider these meetings to be mundane, you can actually use them to your advantage. How? By asking the right questions that elicit feedback, open communication, and constructive advice to flourish in your role and vie for the next promotion.
So, as you prepare for your next one-on-one meeting with your manager, ask the following:
“How Should I Prioritize My Tasks This Week?”
While you may think you have prioritized with the right areas on your weekly to-do list, get a second opinion from your boss. Make it simple for them: type out a list of your to-dos, and have them rank their importance. Doing this will help you align expectations and focus your energy on the most important tasks.
“How Can You Help Me Solve This Problem?”
Two heads are always better than one. If you run into issues with the same situation time and time again, get help from your manager. They may have run across the same issues previously and if not they can always offer strategic insight, a skill that many managers possess.
“What’s One Thing I Could Do Differently?”
Constructive criticism is a good thing. While praise can reinforce good behaviors, it’s good to get feedback on professional areas that need improvement. While you may obtain this type of feedback during an annual review, think smaller scale: efficiencies or skill sets that could improve daily performance.
“What Can I Do to Make You More Successful This Week?”
With a promotion or professional goal in mind, it’s great to source feedback from your manager to help you reach a goal. This is obvious. But, what if you turned the tables to ask: “How can I make you better at your job?” You should always try to make your boss as successful as possible. There are three reasons for this:
- You (hopefully) generally want to see them flourish.
- Reaching a specific and group-oriented goal only helps the cohesion and efficiency of your team.
- A manager who is also your advocate is an asset for your future job growth as they could bring you along on the organizational ladder climb.
“How Are You Doing?”
While you should keep conversations business appropriate, it doesn’t hurt to try to relate to your manager on a personal level. Maybe you share similar interests outside of work or have children in a similar age range. While this in no way impacts your overall performance at work, it’s always good to be able to relate to others in the workplace. It can show your manager your emotional intelligence, for one, and it can foster a better and friendlier working relationship. Plus, more and more studies reveal the benefit of a work-life balance.
Come prepared and ready to make the most of each one-on-one meeting. Instead of asking the same questions each meeting, focus on driving action and improvement through the questions above.
If you have additional questions that have worked for you during your one-on-one meetings, please share them in the comments below!
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