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Making Solid Connections With Your Boss

Do you have great ideas for making improvements to your facility, but find your manager difficult to speak to? Supervisors can often be challenging to connect with; oftentimes they are busy with their own schedules and can appear distant or unfriendly. Nonetheless, there are ways to speak your mind without risking your job. Here are five tips for connecting with a difficult manager, courtesy of behavior strategist and performance management coach Joe Takash:

  1. Find the Right Place, Right Time. Your boss is a busy person and is often dealing with matters that aren’t apparent to you. Instead of abruptly bombarding her with questions on the gym floor, set up an appropriate time to speak. She will consider you to be conscious of her needs and will give you undivided
    attention during your meeting.
  2. Be Prepared. The last thing a busy manager needs is to have her time wasted. Be sure that you have a specific plan for your conversation and stay on track. It is always a good idea to practice your approach prior to the meeting to weed out any unnecessary elements. She will respect you for your diligence and will be more likely to consider your request.
  3. Know Your Role. In a busy fitness facility it can become easy for you to fall off your supervisor’s radar, only to be reprimanded for not doing your job. Instead of complaining to your co-workers, meet with your boss to determine the specifics of what she expects from you so future mistakes can be avoided.
  4. Finish What You Start. Your idea to start a kids’ program was accepted and now it’s time to follow through. Set up a schedule for implementation and provide your boss with progress reports. If there are tasks that need her approval or input, be sure to hold her accountable as well. She will see you as a reliable and professional self-starter.
  5. Ask for What You Want. Whatever the goal you have in mind—promotion, raise or new class idea—the only way you will get what you want is to ask for it. The biggest success stopper is the cynical voice within. Discuss your intentions with your boss and be prepared to offer insights as to why your request is valid.

To learn more about how to become a respected, top-notch employee, check out “Be a Standout Employee,” by Alexandra Williams, MA, June 2008 IDEA Fitness Journal.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor, and IDEA's director of event programming.

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