It’s amazing to me how so many employees don’t really know where they stand with their boss or what she thinks of them. One simple strategy is agreeing on a set of annual goals and objectives, which brings clarity to what is expected.
Another is a technique that I’ve coached people to use with their supervisor. It goes like this: “Hey boss, can you give me some feedback on my performance? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being high, how am I doing?” This forces the boss to give you a number rather than just saying “you’re doing fine”. Then, with this follow-up question, you really get some good feedback. If he rated you, say an 8, you would say, “Help me out boss, what would it take for me to get to a 9?”. Now, he’ll likely identify a specific thing or two for you to work on. If so, thank him, write it down and start working on it.
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