The One Thing You Should Ask Your Boss Once a Month

Asking this simple question at work will help you reap a lot of benefits.

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If you've had the benefit of working from home over the past few months, you've likely experienced an uptick in meetings. Since you don't get to chat as easily as you would at the office, your boss might be more eager to schedule face time with you weekly or monthly. While these meetings may sometimes seem redundant, you can use them to your advantage by asking the right questions. According to Forbes, there is one question in particular that will help you build a better relationship with your boss. Keep reading to find out what you should be asking, and for guidance on what not to do, This Is the Biggest Career Mistake You'll Ever Make, Experts Say.

Writing for Forbes, Leadership IQ owner Mark Murphy explained, "One of the most powerful techniques you can employ is to ask your boss the following question, 'I want to make sure I keep growing and improving, so if you were me, what would you choose to work on?'" This is not a topic you should broach weekly but rather something you should ask once a month at one of your virtual meetings.

"The more you are known and respected by people above you, the better off you are from a career standpoint," Priscilla Claman, president of Career Strategies, told Harvard Business Review. Asking this simple question once a month will help ensure that your boss respects you and understands your commitment to your work.

This tactic will help you form a bond with your boss on a few levels. Read on for four reasons asking the question works to improve the employee-manager relationship, and for more guidance on looking your best at work, This One Habit Will Make You Seem More Confident Immediately.

1
It makes the response low lift for your boss.

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When you take the initiative to ask your boss for straightforward guidance, it removes the pressure from them to "design complex development plans," says Forbes.

A recent survey by Leadership IQ on "The State Of Leadership Development in 2020" found that only 20 percent of people said that "their leader always takes an active role in helping employees to grow and develop their full potential." By posing this question, you're shifting the responsibility from your boss to yourself. And for one question you should never ask, This Is the Rudest Thing You Can Ask Someone, Etiquette Experts Say.

2
It seamlessly allows issues to surface.

A small group of professionals at work within a co-working space in Taipei, Taiwan.
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If your boss has been quietly holding in constructive criticism, posing this question will give them a forum to share some suggestions. "We've given them license to blurt out whatever's at the forefront of their mind. And that's the insight we really need," Murphy writes. And for more useful information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

3
It builds trust.

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By showcasing that you value your boss' insight, you're demonstrating that you care about their opinion and feedback, Murphy explains. The trust will deepen even further once you take action on the advice your boss doled out to you. And if you find yourself in the position to say sorry, This Is the One Word You Should Never Say When Apologizing.

4
It emphasizes quality over quantity.

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"You're not going to improve the relationship with your boss by being online for 24 hours a day and never taking a break," Murphy writes. "Ironically, employees who have great relationships with their boss feel more freedom to take some breaks (thus increasing their productivity and overall well-being)."

By fostering productive conversations with your boss during your meetings, you are building a quality relationship with them, which will benefit you both in the future. And for more advice on improving your communication, make sure you know The One Question You Always Ask That Can Kill a Conversation.

Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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