10 Questions The Most Successful People Ask Their Boss

Successful people know there isn’t one formula for success. Because success doesn’t come through a clear path, there isn’t a book of secrets or shortcuts that will make success easy. Improving knowledge in their craft and learning from mistakes are common tactics used by successful people. Additionally, the most successful people have a child-like curiosity when it comes to asking their boss questions.

The most successful people understand asking their boss the right questions is part of the formula for success. Having a solid rapport with your boss makes work more enjoyable. Being clear on their expectations helps make your quality of work-life better. Most people would agree that their boss was the most stressful part of their job. The most successful people mitigate boss-caused stress by asking their boss these ten questions:

1. What is the one thing you see me doing, or not doing, that is holding me back?

There is no better question to solicit feedback than this one. By asking for one thing, you are telling your boss you are aware that there is something for you to do better and are asking them to pick one. By asking this question, you invite your boss to share something concrete and honest with you that will truly help you grow. The most successful people ask their boss this question for specific feedback because getting actionable feedback is the only way to improve.

2. What can I do to make you more successful today?

Our job is to make the boss look good and to keep problems off their plate. Asking your boss this question helps you focus your energy and efforts in the right places. Furthermore, it enables you to prioritize the tasks that matter. The most successful people ask their boss this question because it will tell the boss you are invested in their success.

3. What is your preference when it comes to communication?

There are so many ways to communicate; it is valuable to know your boss’s preferred method. Asking this question helps you understand the method they prefer along with the frequency. As a result, it improves your relationship and sets you apart from the rest of the team. For that reason, the most successful people ask their boss this question because communication is vital for success.

4. What is your biggest problem, and how can I help solve it?

Because you are on the front lines, you are closer to the reality of the business. Chances are your boss’s biggest problems can be solved by improving the front line. The most successful people ask their boss this question because it demonstrates that you are thoughtful and take the initiative.

5. How was your weekend?

Building rapport and improving your relationship with your boss is essential. By starting with personal, non-business topics, you evolve the relationship beyond business. It helps you understand how she spends her free time and as a result, what is important to her. Therefore, the most successful people ask their boss non-business questions because it strengthens their relationship.

6. I’m interested in additional responsibility in X area. What do I need to work on to get there?

As much as we want our bosses to read our mind, they can’t. Expressing interest in future opportunities helps you stay top-of-mind. It demonstrates you want to learn, grow, and take on more responsibility. As a result, you are more likely to be thought of as someone eager to develop and grow in the organization. For this reason, the most successful people ask their boss this question to show initiative and a desire to grow.

7. What should I know about your work and management style?

Asking this question provides insight into what you can expect from your leader. How responsive do they expect you to be after-hours? Do they work well under pressure? Understanding how your boss works will help you work better with them. The most successful people ask the boss questions that help them know what to expect because it will help them deliver on those expectations.

8. How would you like to receive feedback from me?

Knowing this is crucial to your sanity because you won’t always agree with your boss, and you need to be able to present those things in the right way. Therefore, the most successful people ask their boss this question so they can effectively express disagreement.

9. May I provide you with feedback?

Asking permission to provide feedback lowers people’s defenses and makes them more receptive. In doing so, they are more likely to accept and act on your feedback. The most successful people ask their boss this question because they know it will make giving the boss feedback more productive.

10. What qualities do you look for in future leaders?

Understanding what the boss looks in future leaders and then demonstrating those characteristics helps you think about how to stand out. The most successful people ask their boss this question because they want to demonstrate talent in the areas that are important to their boss.

The success formula varies by person and job function. Asking your boss the right questions will promote your career growth and development. The most successful people know that having a solid relationship with their boss is vital, and for the relationship to be successful, asking the right questions is critical.

Originally published at https://www.jasoncortel.com on September 12, 2019.

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Changing the world by developing people professionally. Author who blogs about leadership, career advice, and coaching. #WhyYouNow

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Jason Cortel

Jason Cortel

Changing the world by developing people professionally. Author who blogs about leadership, career advice, and coaching. #WhyYouNow

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