3 Ways to Be More Open With Your Manager

Being open with your colleagues and your manager is critical to your success in Corporate America.  Not only will being open allow you to create stronger connections, but it will let you be yourself.  By being yourself others will get a true sense of who you are, which can then lead to opportunities that align better to your goals and personality.  But, it all starts with being open.

How can you be more open?  Here are 3 steps you can start taking with your manager today:

  1. Talk about what you did this past weekend for fun.  This is the easiest step you can take, as it is simply sharing something you have already done and does not involve spilling your heart and feelings.  Of course, you need to keep the conversation work appropriate, so leave out the unnecessary details.  The best way to share this info is to ask them what they did this weekend first.  Get them talking to create a two-way dialogue
  2. Document your goals and email them to your manager.  Being open and transparent about what you want will strengthen your connection.  It will ensure your manager knows what you are looking for with your life and career.  Rather than guessing what you want, your manager will have a clear idea of what you want and can help you build a roadmap to get there.  Don’t be shy about including personal goals in here too - your manager will want to know what interests you outside of work as well!
  3. Provide feedback.  The feedback can be related to performance, processes, communication, or any other category, really.  Most managers will appreciate your openness in sharing thoughts and feedback in an effort to make improvements.  This shows you are thinking critically about what is going on around you rather than just “going through the motions.”  Have a manager who is sensitive to constructive criticism/feedback?  Talk to your peers and ask how they have provided feedback to them in the past.  It also is not a bad idea to practice out loud (privately, of course) how you will provide the feedback.  This will give you a sense of how the conversation may go

These are just a few ways to be more open with your manager.  You can start on all three of these today.  What are you waiting for?

Thought Starters

  • How do you practice openness with your manager?
  • How can you blend your work and personal life in order to build a stronger, more open connection with your manager and other colleagues?