If you're ready, get him ready.

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This is a guest post by Karin Hurt. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

1) Understand His Perspective

Work to truly understand his view. It’s likely that your current performance is a factor. Understand what you’re doing well in your current job from his perspective, as well as where things are breaking down. Resist the urge to talk about “promises” made by other leaders, or your expectations based on those discussions.

2) Be Real

Share what you’re feeling and why. Gently share specific examples if it feels right. Laugh about how you’re just not “Tommy” anymore. He’ll relate… he was once a “Tommy” to someone too.

3) Shadowing

Ask if you can hang out with him for a day or two. Be sure to emphasize you want the “real deal.” If there’s a late-night fire drill, you’ll want to be included. Ensure you understand what the next level is really all about.

4) Skip-Level Meeting

Ask if you can have a skip-level meeting with his boss for development. Ask for feedback on perceptions and what you can do to be most ready to support the company’s objectives.

5) Stories

Share your career story. Be open about your disappointments. Help him take the long view of how you’ve grown.

6) Development Plans

Listen carefully to the feedback and suggest a few developmental options to grow in these arenas. Ask for other specific ideas to include.

7) Follow Up

Set up a time for specific follow-up and calibration. Make this an ongoing conversation. Be sure you're continuing to ask what you can do to best support him or her. The ratio of helping to asking for help should always be at least 80/20. Most importantly be patient. The seeds you are planting will go a long way in building long-term credibility. Hang in there.

About the Author

karin hurtKarin Hurt is a leadership speaker, consultant, and MBA professor. She's a former Verizon Wireless executive with two decades of diverse cross-functional experience in sales, customer service and HR. Karin was named as a top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America. She is author of, “Overcoming an Imperfect Boss: A Practical Guide to Building a Better Relationship With Your Boss.”

This article is part of the The $11K 8th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest.

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READ NEXT: 5 Inside Tips to Become Your Boss’ Right Hand Man (or Woman)

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Sharon Hill

    Excellent advice, especially the skip-level meeting. I never heard of that before. How common is that? Wonder if it often gets pushback.

    Only negative: the assumption that the boss is male.

  2. Jacob Share

    Sharon- I agree, the skip-level meeting tip is a good one in particular. If office politics or elitism might lead to pushback, the person in question would probably know to expect that from their boss.

    Regarding the ‘male’ boss, I’m pretty sure Karin just made a choice for the narrative’s sake.

  3. Karin Hurt

    Hi Sharon, Thanks for your comment.They are pretty common, but the tricky part is talking to your boss first. Explain why you want to meet wtih her boss, and ensure her it’s all about feedback and development. Then handle the meeting elegantly and respectfully.

    In my book, I alternate with the boss being a man and a women chapter 😉

  4. John Fawkes

    Could have used more detail. The skip-level meeting is a great idea though, since you know the bosses boss is going to be in on the decision.

  5. Jacob Share

    John- I’m sure Karin will be happy to see that you want more 🙂 And good point. Thanks

  6. Todd Scales

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Karin. May sound odd, but I like to tip these on their head. If I have a direct report whom I feel is ready to move to a new level of responsibility, I would employ these tips in a reverse manner as a means of encouraging and discovering forus both.

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