How to Know What Your Boss Really Wants from You

Wouldn’t it be great if you could read someone else’s mind? More specifically, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could read your boss’s mind so you would know what it is he wants from you? Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if you are doing a good job, or if your boss expects more. Perhaps you hate your boss and you fear you might get so frustrated that you will lose your temper someday. Or maybe you like your boss, but you just can’t figure out what what will make him happy. It can be tricky to figure out what a boss requires, but there are ways to at least get an idea. Here are a few career tips to try.

1. Ask your boss directly

meeting at work with the boss

Meeting with the boss | Source: iStock

It sounds scary, but asking your boss what they really want from you might be the most direct and easiest way to find out. This doesn’t mean you should march into your boss’s office and demand to know what he “really wants.” Instead, schedule a meeting and have specific, concrete questions. If you are confused about a project, then ask for clarification. If you want to move up in the company but you have been stagnant for a long time, go ahead and ask how you can improve.

If your concern is more about the fact you feel your boss says he wants one thing, but then never seems satisfied, then you might need to provide examples. Don’t attack your boss or say he’s wrong; just ask for clarification in a respectful way, and mention wanting to improve or learn more next time. If you phrase your concern in a non-threatening way, you will probably have more luck. Also, it can be a good idea to schedule regular one-on-ones with your boss in order to foster communication.

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