Questions To Ask Your Boss That Can Make Or Break Your Career | Fusion - WeRIndia

Questions To Ask Your Boss That Can Make Or Break Your Career

Questions To Ask Your Boss

Think about it: You probably only hear from your boss when a) you royally screwed up, b) you majorly kicked ass or c) it’s performance review time.

Feedback from your supervisor is what you crave, unless you’re happy flying under the radar, which certainly won’t help you advance.

Getting honest input from your supervisor is crucial to your relationship with your boss–and, like it or not, your relationship with your boss can make or break your career. A solid rapport makes deadlines a breeze and the workday go by in a flash; but a shaky one can render even a short elevator ride interminable.

Plus, having a good relationship with your boss may even reduce stress at work. In a workplace study by the American Psychological Association, up to 75% of respondents said the most stressful aspect of their job is their immediate boss.


Here are few key questions you can ask that will help you and your supervisor stay on the right track:

1. How was your weekend?

Monday mornings are hectic and everyone’s got a million things on their to-do list–but don’t overlook the opportunity to ask about your boss’s weekend.

It gives you an opportunity to start building a personal relationship and connect on a non-work level.” Try to ask something specific, like if her daughter won her softball game or how the client dinner went–it’ll show you’ve been paying attention.

The more you know about your boss, the better. By understanding how she spends her time when she’s not at the office, you’ll learn what’s important to her. “It allows you two to build a real relationship that extends beyond spreadsheets and timelines”. It gives you another dimension to connect on so she also sees you as not just a subordinate but someone with a personal life and outside interests, too.

Furthermore, by sharing personal details about your life, you will appear more mature and invested in the relationship. That scores big points with management.

2. What is your biggest problem-and how can i help you solve it?

This is a great query to bring up if you’re new to a job or team, because it will give you insight into the demands of the job. Another good time to ask this question is when a new supervisor joins your department; it will help you discover what his priorities are during the transition. But you can also use this question anytime, say when you notice that your boss has a lot on her plate and you want to let her know you’re available to pitch in, which can boost your “invaluable employee” quotient.

It shows that you’re someone who is strategic and thoughtful and who takes initiative–you’re not just waiting around to be told what to do.

3. When you think of the best employees who have worked for you, what makes them stand out in your mind?

This isn’t the type of question to pop as you head out to pick up a sandwich together. Reserve it for a time when you’re in serious “getting feedback” mode, like during a performance review, or at a time when your boss has just given you a bit of tough feedback.

This question can be a good way to signal that you want to improve and learn skills that will make her job easier–a task in any employee’s job description.

If you’ve got a good relationship with your boss, but you’re looking to take your game to the next level or score a promotion or a raise, this is a great way to discover what she values most. Once you find out, you can try to model some of those behaviors.

“The best way to get real and meaningful input is to plant the seed in advance and ask your boss for feedback before you need it,” .

4. I really want to nail the project (With project name). Do you have any templates i could reference, or is there anyone on the team i should speak to who’s done a good job on one recently?

At the onset of a project that’s unlike anything you’ve ever tackled.

Most likely your boss has a vision of how she’d like a project completed, and if you don’t have a clear sense of her expectations, she’s bound to be disappointed. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when you get a new assignment.

“Be resourceful and ask to see examples of a job well done. By asking for guidance upfront, you’re saving yourself–and your boss–from disappointment and lots of wasted time.”

5. What should i do?

What should i start doing?

what should i stop doing?

What should i continue doing that i do well?

Ideally, these are questions that your boss will naturally answer during your performance review, but, if not, you should feel free to ask. If you just had a review, and you don’t feel that this information was offered, send your boss an email to request some one-on-one time and tell him that you’re hoping to answer these specific questions.

There are probably a lot of things you do well that your boss loves and probably others that he wishes you’d stop doing, but he never really had the heart or stomach to tell you.

This line of questioning makes it easy for him to finally tell you that the 10 hours of cold-calling you’re doing every week isn’t leading to results, and you’d be better off building out the focus group strategy instead.

If your boss evades these questions–and says that you’re doing a great job and you don’t need to change a thing, but you know there’s room for improvement–you can gently press the issue.

Try a follow-up question like, “I really appreciate hearing everything is going well, but I’d really like to move up a level and challenge myself. What else should I be doing to make sure I get promoted next year?”

Photo by Saulo Mohana on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)


Image Reference: https://unsplash.com/photos/wNz7_5EvUWU

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