I was talking to my client Ruben earlier this week.
He was feeling frustrated with his boss.
This is not an issue that is unique to Ruben.
We all have to “manage up” and learn to accommodate the needs of the person to whom we report.
In my conversation with Ruben, he was complaining about his boss’ lack of decisiveness.
So, I said to Reuben, “I hear you. Lack of decisiveness can be frustrating.”
“But, Ruben, let’s look at this from your boss’ perspective.
She has a lot on her plate.
She is the kind of person who takes time to make decisions.
She is not thinking about your career 24/7.
She is not.
That is just the reality of the workplace.”
So, please don’t wait for busy people, who are juggling multiple priorities, to make a decision.
Instead, here are 3 practical things that you can do to move important decisions forward quickly:
- Take the initiative: Instead of complaining that you are stuck or don’t have critical information to move forward, make the first move.
- Put a plan in place: Be strategic and take some time to prepare a plan to discuss with your boss. Do all of the thinking for them. Make it easy for them to say “yes”.
- Ask for feedback and next steps: Book a meeting and present your plan. Ask them the following three questions. 1) What do you like about the plan? 2) What concerns do you have with my proposed approach? 3) What can we do to overcome these concerns?
This approach is very collaborative and productive.
Instead of complaining that you are stuck or holding back your team, this approach allows you to be proactive and will move you and your busy boss into action.
Leadership is about managing up, down, and across your organization.