Questions are such powerful tools! You can use them to fulfill curiosity, clarify the uncertain and even redirect the thought process. Did you know you could use questions as a tool to elevate your career?
There are a number of settings in which you should ask questions such as meetings, training sessions and interviews. As a manager I automatically took cool points away from candidates who did not ask questions during interviews. Although it is a small task, you’d be surprised how many potential candidates leave an interview without asking questions.
Another great setting to ask questions is during one-on-one meetings with your manager or supervisor. You have their attention for a specific amount of time and the floor is yours so use it to your advantage with powerful questions! Managers are appreciative of employees who ask questions because it shows that you are invested and care to know more.
Here are three questions you should ALWAYS ask your manager.
1. How Can I Contribute to Organizational Growth/Goals?
Thinking on an organizational level is a skill every young professional should learn and practice. Yes, thinking outside of the box is a skill! If you want to come across as someone who thinks about the big picture, take the time to ask your boss how your role directly relates to the growth and goals of the company.
For example, if you are a call center representative your main focus is most likely to answer questions and provide customer service but what tasks can you perform to make the company hit their goals? What if you took the extra step of finding additional customer needs and referring the correct products to the customer to contribute to the company sales goals? You’d be worth your weight in gold!
2. What Tasks Can I Help You Complete?
This question is going to make you look like a rockstar! I absolutely loved when an employee asked if there was something they could help with because it not only meant that they were a team player but they were also willing to take on responsibilities that may be outside of their assigned job tasks. It’s also an opportunity to learn what exactly your boss does and if their role is possibly the next step you’d like to take in your career.
Not to mention you’ve just offered to help me complete my tasks and achieve my goals as well! Managers are often asked for assistance and it feels good to have an employee ask how they can help us. By the way, asking for new responsibilities can be the first indicator that an employee is on track for a promotion. Boss moves…
3. What Can I Do Better?
You may be thinking, “my boss will tell me if there is anything I can do better and I shouldn’t have to ask.” Guess what? You’re wrong! Managers and supervisors should be giving honest feedback and criticism but it often doesn’t happen. Your boss could either simply forget to correct the mistake you made last Tuesday or they may be uncomfortable giving you the critique you need.
Have you ever sugar coated the truth to spare someone’s feelings? Your boss could be doing the same thing to you because they do not want to disappoint or discourage you. By asking what you can do better you are essentially giving your manager permission to be honest and open in regards to your work. Now, you can work on improving in the mentioned areas to take your career to the next level.
Now that you’ve asked your power questions take the answers and use the information to charge up your career. What’s great is the questions can be asked frequently and used to check in on your growth within the company. Also, feel free to ask more than the suggested questions. Be like the child who always asks, “Why?” because you can never ask too many questions in order to learn and grow your way to the top!
For more smart questions and conversation starters, download our FREE eBook: 43 Questions That’ll Transform Your Job Interviews from Drab to Fab.