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Surprise your boss in your next 1:1

The next time you’re in a 1:1 meeting with your boss, ask:

How could I make your job easier?

The first time I asked my boss that question, he was speechless. After a long pause, he said, “Um… I’m fine. Just focus on your job.”

I’m nothing if not persistent, so I asked again at our next 1:1. Same response.

The third time, he looked at me differently and said, “Well… you could check Brittney’s references so we can make a hiring decision this week.”
The fourth time, I got another small assignment. Then another. I started learning some of the oft-ignored “important but not urgent” items we all have.
Soon, he was offering me more different, interesting assignments. Without him knowing it, I’d snuck into his in-group through the back door labeled “Helpfulness.”

Why you should ask this.

Yup, you heard right. I know you have too much to do. You’re overloaded, overbooked and overwhelmed. But this deserves your consideration. You need to build a bridge of empathy and trust with your boss, and this is an excellent way to do it.

You’re setting aside your needs for a moment, and focusing on what they need. You might have to ask a few times, but I found a bit of persistence is worth the wait.

As you take little bites of your bosses job, you can start delegating to someone on your team that you’re grooming to take your place. Win-win!

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes.

Hang in there; your team needs you.

About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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