How to have honest conversations with your manager

I get it, you might not have the warmest relationship with your manager, but you’re wanting to have an open and honest conversation. So, where do you go from here?

Honesty is the cornerstone of any relationship, especially within a work environment, but this can be easier said than done. Having the confidence and knowing how to build a trusting relationship with your manager is key in this instance. But it won’t happen overnight.

Here are some tips on how to have those honest and tough conversations.

Start small

Start building rapport with your manager. Lay the groundwork by initiating meaningful conversation – you will be surprised at how this can help build trust and an open relationship!

Set the agenda

Before you go in for that tough conversation, try emailing your manager with all the points you want to cover before your meeting. That way, you’ve set the agenda and you’ve given your manager time to consider the points of conversation.

Have a plan and clear goals

Make sure you go in there with a plan - what do you want to achieve in the next 30, 60, 90 days? Become more comfortable articulating your career aspirations. Practice talking with friends or family so you can drill down exactly what you want to say. Talk about the things you currently enjoy in your role and be clear on what areas you feel you would like to develop further. Then agree on action points and next steps. It’s always a good idea to have an agreed action plan after the meeting so you both walk away with clear deliverables.

Be confident and honest

Be confident in how you communicate and concise with your words. Write down everything you want to say to help.

One last tip: you can say to your manager you would like to think things through overnight if you anything doesn’t sit well with you. You can then book in another time to solidify your plan in going forward.