Note: This article is part of the series on Tips for Managing Your Relationship With Your Boss

Tip: Is your boss too busy to meet with you? Do you feel like you never get the chance to speak to your boss about work-related issues? Regular one on one meetings with your boss are the best way to make sure that you have dedicated time with your boss

Meeting Your Boss’s Expectations

When you know your boss’s time management practices then you know how you can best fit in with them to meet your boss’s expectations.

Some things you should know:

  • When, where and with whom are your boss’s standing meetings.
  • In the hour before attending a meeting, does your boss need quiet, undisturbed time to prepare? Would you rather not disturb your boss during this time?
  • When is your boss the busiest and prefer not to be disturbed? Morning or late afternoon?
  • Does your boss practice strict time management? Does your boss expect you to fit in with the same time management schedule?
  • Are there nights when your boss works late? If so, are there specific nights?
  • Have you ever received emails from your boss at night or on weekends? Does this happen often?
  • Does your boss expect you to respond to after-hour emails?

The answers should give you better insight into your boss’s work schedule and preferred time management. Plus, you should begin to identify a behavior pattern and get a better idea of:

  • How your boss plans for the day,
  • When your boss is most productive,
  • When your boss does not want to be disturbed,
  • When your boss is most approachable,
  • When your boss is busiest and when they may have time available.

Knowing What Your Boss Wants, When They Want it = a Good Boss Relationship

I can share with you that bosses find it extremely frustrating if they don't know what their employees have been doing or what they are planning to do. And as an employee you want to keep your boss informed about what you’ve achieved so that you can get recognition for your work.

This isn’t always easy if you’re not on the same page as your boss. So imagine if you’re not on the same continent as your boss. To illustrate my point, here’s a personal example. My boss operates out of Sydney Australia. I am based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mere 8-hour time difference. Our working day barely overlaps. This means that I need to know and plan my communication in advance.

  • If I need input from my boss I need to make sure that I ask for it in advance, during my boss’s preferred working hours.
  • If my boss needs input from me then I need to make sure that I send it, in advance, before the time that my boss needs it.

Most importantly. My boss and I need dedicated time each week for mutual status updates. This is the best way for me to know what my boss wants, when he wants it. The only way to make sure that this fits in with my boss’s schedule is regular one on ones. One on ones are scheduled weekly, in advance so they fit in with your schedule - and your boss’s.

Regular one on one meetings are about:

  • Working better with your boss - knowing what your boss wants, when they want it,
  • Aligning your priorities so that you are not wasting time on work that your boss doesn’t want help with,
  • Meeting your boss’s expectations,
  • All coming together to save you time, improve your earning and your work happiness.

But just like everything else in management there is a best practice way to do things. If you've never had one on ones with your boss before, or if you're looking for a better one on ones process, then the short, online course One on Ones With Your Boss will show you how.


Do you have any questions, comments or tips about fitting in with your boss's time management preferences? Please share in the comments below.

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