You know the feeling: When you just need to be heard.
You might have a personal issue that needs addressing or a business idea that you need to discuss with your boss. You don't know how to broach the subject, and meeting requests are getting thrown in your face left and right. It's not easy to figure out where can you find the time to request a meeting with your boss without seeming like you're just fishing for time; it takes finesse.
This is where this blog post comes in handy. We take you step by step through how to ask for a meeting with your boss. We'll share tips on how to approach the situation, when to request it, what you should talk about at your meeting and much more. You'll be armed to meet with your boss and get the time you need to discuss that important matter.
Why you need a meeting with your boss
In short, to address a problem or initiate a project. Whether you're having trouble adjusting to a new manager, asking for help transitioning into a new role or just want feedback on your performance, these are all important reasons to schedule an appointment with your boss.
This meeting with your boss is, effectively, a one-on-one meeting request.
How to approach the situation
Be prepared, your meeting with your boss is an opportunity to make a strong impression.
Use these tips to prepare for your meeting:
Gather all the information you need before you make the meeting request. Have enough information to convince your boss of why you need this meeting. For example, if you're having personal issues with a coworker, make sure you have all evidence at hand that supports your case.
Be honest about what can be accomplished during the meeting. You can often schedule a meeting for 15-30 minutes, but you'll need to schedule longer if you have more to say. Make sure to reference your agenda when requesting the meeting so that your boss knows how much time is needed.
Be respectful of the time of both yourself and your manager. Your boss might have other meetings scheduled around the same time you want yours, so be respectful of this fact by making sure you have everything ready before requesting the meet.
Request your meeting early in the week or at the most, one day before your proposed date. People are more likely to agree to a request if they have time before it comes.
How to schedule the meeting with your boss
The best way to schedule a meeting with your boss is either in person or via email. You can ask for an in-person meeting by sending an e-mail and cc'ing your boss's assistant (or cc'ing your boss and her assistant).
When you make the initial request, you should let your manager know:
The reason for the meeting: Don't beat around the bush. Specify why you're meeting and what it's about.
When you need the meeting: Let your boss know what time works best for both of you.
Where you'll be meeting: Include the name of the conference room or virtual meeting link.
How long you'll need to talk: Try to avoid scheduling more than half an hour unless it is needed because that will put a strain on both yourself and your boss.
Who will be attending the meeting: If it won't just be the two of you, be sure to list anyone else who may be in attendance, for example, someone you are introducing your boss to.
Your agenda for the meeting: Include bullet points of what you'll be discussing so your boss knows what your goals are. This is also a good place to let her know if you'll need any visuals, handouts or materials during the meeting.
Taking charge of the conversation
Now that you've scheduled your appointment, take charge of the conversation by being prepared for it. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Be prepared with facts. You'll need facts to support your case, so make sure you've got the details backed up before you head over. "I'm feeling left out because I'm new to this role, but I'm not being given any responsibility, so could we focus the meeting on that?"
Be respectful of your boss's time. You might think she has nothing better to do than listen to you, but chances are she's got a lot on her plate too. Don't waste her time with nonsense and keep things organized and on point.
Be prepared to be questioned. Your boss might want further information after you ask for the meeting, so make sure you know what she needs and how to answer it. This is where knowing all the facts beforehand will prove helpful.
Be honest. Don't spend your meeting talking about the wrong thing. Explain why you're truly there. "The reason I wanted to discuss my performance review is because I felt it wasn't reflective of my overall contributions. Could we talk about it then?"
Explain your needs. Keep on the topic of the meeting and explain exactly why you want this meeting. "I just want some feedback on my project."
Think through how you'll end the conversation and what you'll say at the end of it. "Thanks so much for taking the time to talk this through. It really cleared things up."
Agree on what you'll do next. "I'll let you know in two weeks how it went."
Follow up with your boss for results
Now that you've scheduled and had the meeting, your responsibility doesn't end there. Make sure you follow up with your boss after the meeting to let her know how things went. This shows her effort on your behalf and gives you an opportunity to provide more feedback if necessary. You can also use this as an opportunity to follow up on any requests you need action on from the meeting itself, whether it's information or a decision made.
If you weren't able to get a decision from your boss, don't sweat it. If you're leaving a meeting without an answer or question unanswered, follow-up within a week or so to get the answer you need. It's natural that she might need time to consider a decision if this is the first time she's hearing about something.
Well—time to get out there and get your meeting! Now that you've read this article, schedule your appointments with your boss today. You have the ability to make a strong impression with her and get important questions answered about your work, company, or career path.