How to Confront Your Boss About Poor Communication
Communication is the foundation of any relationship and is especially important in the business world. If you can’t communicate effectively with your supervisors, your job performance will suffer. The same is true if your boss lacks strong communication skills, because that can create misunderstandings about the objectives of major projects and goals at your workplace. Communication is a two-way street, but if you realize that poor communication between you and your boss is interfering with your day-to-day job performance, it may be time to address this problem. If you take the right steps, talking to your boss about your communication problems can be a fruitful conversation instead of turning into a confrontation.
Before you request the meeting with your boss, list the goals you hope to achieve. It’s easy to complain about lack of communication, but if you don’t have a detailed list of how you believe improved communication will lead to better job performance, you might as well leave things as they are. Getting more specific feedback on projects and clarifying delivery timelines are examples of goals you can establish prior to your meeting.
Ask your boss for a time when the two of you can sit down and talk about how you can improve your job performance. This is an effective way to put your boss at ease so the two of you can enter the meeting in a positive frame of mind. Bosses are used to being in a power position, so a meeting in which the boss can tell you how you can become a better employee is one she's likely to schedule quickly.
Although it may seem obvious in some instances, it’s important for you to ask your boss to reiterate your job objectives. When communication isn’t good for bosses and employees, it’s often because employees aren’t sure what is expected of them. Asking this question often triggers valuable discussion about what tasks your boss feels are the most important and why. Getting these answers can help you better understand what’s expected of you.
It is often easier to segue into communication issues after you’ve talked about your job objectives. Make sure you provide concrete examples that illustrate why you felt communication was ineffective in a specific situation. Avoid placing blame or making your boss feel responsible. Your goal is to explore the problem and then suggest ways communication could be handled better in the future.
Before you end the meeting, ask your boss if you can schedule a weekly meeting to make sure you’re both on the same page. This meeting can be in-person or over the phone, and it shouldn’t take too much time, but it can build valuable trust between you and your boss as you evaluate the progress you’ve made in your communication. If your boss can’t commit to a weekly meeting, suggest a bi-weekly schedule. Staying in touch with your boss will help prevent the same types of misunderstandings, frustrations and confusion that led to the existing communication problems.