Employers value communication skills more than any other skill. Many great managers say that their best skill is listening, especially to those with jobs that make the company the most money. Individual contributors and managers work well together, but it’s up to you to make sure you’re communicating with your manager so they can do their part.
Communication has been the main reason you’ve succeeded since your career began. From the clear and concise way you answer the hiring manager’s phone interview questions to the email you send after your interview and the regular communication you have after you’re hired.
Managers can’t focus on doing their jobs if they can’t talk to each other well. For example, efficiency is lost if you hit a roadblock, and the manager could help you get past it, but they don’t know about it. Because of this, most managers praise people who are good at communicating.
Email is a great tool because it gives us time to think about what we want to say before the other person gets to read it. You may feel more pressure to answer quickly in the moment or in front of your peers. And if you’re under a lot of stress, your communication skills may also suffer.
I will show you five things you can do with email to take your communication to the next level. These ways of communicating don’t take much time, show your manager that you have leadership or job promotion potential, that you’re proactive in your role, and, best of all, can be done without much effort. That is, you won’t put yourself in situations that could be stressful, like giving a presentation in front of a group.
1. The priority check-in
In this email, you ensure no new information has entered the manager’s knowledge bank. And that you are spending your time the best way you can. Here’s what your email should look like:
Here are my priorities. Let me know if I should reorder some of them, remove them or add any other priorities.
- Redesign our print flyers
- Finish our sales pitch deck
- Improve our homepage experience
You’ll need to place your own priorities on this list. Keep them high level and something you and the team have already discussed. Make them the top three most important objectives or tasks from your perspective. This one you can send bi-weekly if your work doesn’t change frequently.
2. The Random Thank You Email
In these emails, you aim to pick a team member each week and show appreciation for them. These random acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed. When a manager asks your peers how they like working with you, these emails will surely be brought up. Here’s what you’ll say.
I just wanted to send you a short note about how much I appreciate working with you. You are so talented. Thank you for all of your hard work.
It would be better to use a more specific and recent moment that stood out to you when Sarah worked on Saturday to meet a deadline.
3. The Weekly Report
This will be your most valuable weekly email. Send this email every Friday and recap the week’s work. When crafting this email. Consider the questions your manager would have for you if you two were to talk. For example, they would ask, how’s the progress on our new homepage? Answer these questions for them so you can save them time. Here’s what you’ll say:
Here’s my weekly report.
New Website Homepage:
- We finished our design meeting
- Met with Victor in sales to prepare her on timing
- Sent our technical requirements to the web developers
- We’re on track with regard to the schedule
I finished two sales pitches this week for Victor and Brunhilda
Let me know if you have any thoughts. Have a good weekend!
Keep it brief, impactful, informative, and insightful.
4. The Request for Feedback
You must always be willing to hear feedback on how you can do better. It shows you are leadership material. I wouldn’t send this email more than once per month, but be sure you are sending it.
I would love to know if there’s anything you feel I could be doing better. Or if there’s anything, you appreciate that I am doing and that you’d like to see more of.
This information gives you insight into how to beat performance for the manager. Be prepared to take criticism you might receive, though.
5. Asking if Your Manager Wants Any Other Type of Regular Communication
After a while, your manager might start appreciating but ignoring your weekly reports. That’s ok! That’s good! That means they’ve built trust with you. But ask them what other communication they’d appreciate so you are always moving forward. Here’s how to do it:
I hope you’ve appreciated my weekly reports. What are some things you’d like to see in them? Anything I can cover which may be most beneficial to you?
And that’s the end of it. There are five easy ways to communicate that you can send by email each week that will help you move up in the company. Your boss can read these emails, which is a good thing.
The Bottom Line
You might wonder, “What if all my emails annoy them?” Remember that these emails are not just for talking but also for getting ideas. They are easy-to-understand action items that your boss can choose to see or not see. They can open the email if they’re interested or don’t know much about your work. And they can choose to ignore it if they think they know enough already. It’s a good deal for both sides.
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