The importance of one-on-one check-ins with your supervisor

    January 8, 2019

    As a manager, it’s your daily duty to oversee the overall progress of your team — as well as the advancement of your individual team members. However, it’s just as important to monitor your own progress. And that’s where one-on-one check-ins with your supervisor come in. 

    You might feel that regularly talking to your supervisor is a sign that you’re not capable — but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it shows that you’re willing to learn and take advice from someone who’s more experienced than yourself. Here are four compelling reasons to check in with your supervisor on a regular basis:

    1. To make sure you’re on track with all of your projects: Just like your team members report their progress to you, you should report your team’s progress to your supervisor. This will allow him or her to gauge whether or not you’re on track to meet all of your deadlines.

    2. To ask for guidance for challenging situations: From time to time, you might run into situations you’ve never encountered before. Perhaps two otherwise valuable employees aren’t getting along and it’s affecting the entire team’s productivity, or maybe you feel understaffed and need some advice on how to either increase your team’s productivity or request a new hire. Whatever the reason, your supervisor is the designated person to speak to in these types of situations, as Katie Douthwaite Wolf advises in her article “5 Things You Should Be Talking to Your Boss About” for The Muse.

    3. To ensure you’re delivering what’s required: Every project has an objective. In addition, there may also be key performance indicators you need to hit along the way. When you meet with your supervisor, always be sure to ask if your performance is checking all the right boxes.

    4. To discuss and track your career advancement: Your supervisor wants you to succeed, since your success contributes to the company’s overall advancement. So don’t be afraid to talk to him or her about your plans for the future. It will help your supervisor select the right types of opportunities to send your way. 

    As Bruce Tulgan points out in his Monster article titled, “Get in the Habit of Managing Your Boss Every Day,” it’s important to make sure that you keep your check-ins with your supervisor short and to the point. If you request more meetings than are necessary or don’t have anything relevant to discuss, you’ll be wasting your boss’s time — and he or she won’t thank you for it. It can even be a good idea to ask how frequently your supervisor would like you to check in, for example once every two weeks — unless you’re working on an important project that requires more supervision. 

    Always remember that one-on-one check-ins with your supervisor are meant to help your team, your company and yourself. So if you prepare properly and know how to accept constructive criticism gracefully, you can be sure to benefit from your boss’s input and guidance. 



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