Recently I was speaking with a friend who had invested hours (outside of work time) coming up with a significant time saving solution for one of his highly repetitive task. Upon bringing it to his managers attention he was met with great interest. However weeks and months went by without anything happening.
His boss just didn’t listen to him and value his initiative. If you are someone who strives to do your best work, you are bound to come across a boss at who doesn’t value your opinion as much as you believe they should. It’s a real de-motivator when your ideas fall on empty ears.
It’s happened to me before in the early years of my career. I have also been on the other side of the fence in managing people in a business and in more recent years as an entrepreneur in my own right.
Below is what I learned from these experiences and a handful of super basic steps you can take immediately to get your boss to start listening to you.
Help The Company
While you were hired to do a job, it’s also your responsibility to be a part of the company and to do whatever it takes for the company to be successful.
One classic example seen in workplaces is verbal stands. People will take a verbal stand against a project or process and point out where it is going off the rails.
You know what’s wrong with a verbal stand? Nothing changes. Action is what is needed.
Rather than verbally point out where something is going wrong, roll up your sleeves, get involved and help to fix it yourself. Show you are willing to get your hands dirty to see the company succeed.
As my dad likes to say: “Put your actions where your mouth is son!”
Be ethical with your use of time. When you are at work understand why you are there and what the business is trying to do.
Talking about personal stuff for long periods, arriving and leaving at times which are suited to you – these are the obvious ‘tasks’ you shouldn’t be doing with your time.
How should you treat your ethical sense at work? Treat your mind like an open book that anybody can read at any time. Your thoughts should be ethical and your actions will follow.
Respond to Emails From Your Boss Quickly
You want to be the person, who, if they need an answer they turn to you.
In order to be the most reliable resource your boss can count on, ensure you respond to emails quickly. Don’t wait till the following day or week to respond to their emails.
I know sometimes your boss will give you terrible advice. But if you don’t listen to the advice at all it creates anxiety and they will feel they can not rely on you (lack of trust).
Be sure to listen and acknowledge.
Use The Right Channel of Communication
Most people tend to rely on whichever form of communication they feel most comfortable with. However, sometime the form of communication which you feel most comfortable using is not the form best suited to the type of communication you are making or to the person receiving it.
For open ended questions or advice = in person is best.
For things which are needed in writing = email.
For questions which are quick and easy to answer = phone or in person (this is where most people overuse email).
Having highly effective communication skills is one of the easy ways to stand out to your boss and get them to value your involvement.
A dysfunctional team is one of the worst and least productive things a manager ever wants to deal with. Don’t be a part of inter-people drama within your team or business.
A rule to stick by:
“Always talk to people never about.”
Any issues should be open and transparent.
These are all changes you are more than capable of making TODAY to get your boss to start listening to you. Starting a new job? Make sure you start off on the right foot by making these a habit from the start.