When your boss gives you a new task to integrate into your routine, the idea of asking questions may seem intimidating. After all, you don’t want to both them with minutia and may be inclined to believe they provided you with all of the information you need to get the job done right.
But, there are certain questions that can be incredibly helpful, particularly since you effectively learning a new skill. So, before you decide not to request additional information, here are a couple of smart things you should ask your boss when you get a new assignment.
How Long Should This Task Take While I’m Learning It?
While this may seem like a strange question, it can provide you with something very important: perspective. Often, people are hard on themselves when a new task is taking longer than they believe it should, even if their assessment is inaccurate.
By asking your boss this question, you get a realistic picture of the amount of time required to get the job done right while you are learning the ropes. This makes it less likely that you’ll be unnecessarily hard on yourself because you misjudged the amount of work required as you become comfortable with the task. Plus, it allows you to adjust your schedule based on the amount of time it is probably going to take, ensuring you don’t accidentally create a scheduling conflict just because you didn’t know any better.
How Long Should This Task Take Once It Becomes Routine?
This is another question that can help ensure your expectations are realistic. Plus, it gives you an idea of where you’ll end up once you’ve done the task a number of times.
Essentially, their answer to this question functions as a milestone. Once you are able to complete the task in that amount of time, you know you’ve achieved the expected standard.
It can also serve as a way to determine if something is going wrong. For example, if your boss says it should only take you 15 minutes and you end up struggling with it for hours, then maybe there is a critical piece of information you’re missing, like a shortcut they forgot to mention. This can serve as a foundation for future discussions should your performance not align with their estimates.
However, it could also indicate that your manager may have never performed this task before and they aren’t aware of how time-consuming a venture it is. In this case, a conversation is also necessary, as it is important to align expectations with reality.
If you present this information, don’t be confrontational. Instead, focus on being inquisitive. Give them a rundown of how the task is typically going and solicit their input regarding ways to improve. They may realize that there isn’t a more efficient way to proceed, giving them a chance to adjust their expectations based on the reality of the situation.
By asking the two questions above, you can make sure you are being realistic about your performance and that their expectations are justified. Plus, you have a talking point to focus on should you need additional guidance.
If you are interested in learning more, the experienced staff at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today.