15 Feb 5 Questions to Ask Your Manager
By: Megan Jones
As a manager you should encourage an open line of communication with your direct reports. Communication is vital in the workplace and direct reports should feel comfortable and confident being able to go to their manager for help, clarification, and growth opportunities. As a manager how you communicate, and the relationship you build with your direct reports can help them grow exponentially. If you are a direct report, take the time to reflect and consider asking these 5 questions to your manager!
How to Approach Your Manager
In a perfect world, your manager has created a space where you feel comfortable communicating with them. If this is a new relationship consider taking initiative and schedule a time for you to meet one on one. This can create a space for you to get to know each other and sets a designated time for you to ask any questions and begin to build your relationship.
When it comes time to meet, have an agenda prepared. The time you schedule is yours and you should capitalize on it. Additionally, in my experience, each manager appreciates that I am coming with organized content. Your agendas can be kept just for yourself, or you can share a live document with your manager so you are both able to have a copy of the conversation you had.
5 Questions to Ask Your Manager
What are your expectations of me as an employee in this position?
This is a great question to ask in an interview and then follow-up with in a one-on-one or at the beginning of each new year. It can give you direct insight into what qualities and traits will make you successful in your role and the expectations your manager is seeking from you. Additionally, once further into your role, you can consistently look back and reference these to ensure you are on target. Furthermore, when it comes time for your annual review, you can show examples of how you met or exceeded their set expectations.
What Performance Goals Should I be Setting?
This is another great question for you to learn about the goals your manager would want you to achieve. You can also phrase this as, “Where would you like to see me grow?” to gin insight on the direction your manager would like to see your progression in. Before asking this question, I would recommend brainstorming a couple of goals on your own. You would like their input, however, remember to always come prepared.
What Skills or Training are Most Beneficial in for this Position?
This question will provide insight into what skills will make you more marketable within your position. Another reason this is a great question is it provides you with the opportunity to showcase your willingness and capability to continue to grow.
What is the Best Way I can Offer Feedback or Ideas?
Understanding how your manager prefers communication allows you to begin to create an open line of communication from the start. It also ensures that you are utilizing the best avenue to reach your manager, so you get the best response.
How Often Should We Schedule One-on-Ones?
This question may be great to ask early on so you can both manage your time effectively. Weekly to bi-weekly one-on-ones are a great way to have continuous conversations with your manager and provide you the opportunity to consistently keep each other updated.
These questions can provide great insight into how to best communicate, and get to know your manager’s style. Once you are aligned in this area your relationship can become more cohesive and keep you running on the same track!