We know the feeling. Your palms sweat and your mouth dries up. Every time you approach your boss, your nervous system seems to shut down.

And that’s just for everyday interactions. How will you ever get the confidence to ask for a raise or for a promotion?

It can pose a major problem. No matter how good you are at your job, you need to communicate with your supervisor in order to get ahead. A close relationship with those above you can speed your climb up the corporate ladder.

But don’t worry. There are steps you can take. By upgrading your approach, you can eliminate that self-doubt and improve relations with your manager.

Here are a few tips that will allow you to talk to your boss with confidence:

Be Good at Your Job

Think of it from your boss’s point of view. You want a favor. Why would they give it to you? Well, the better you are at your job, the more receptive your supervisor is likely to be.

That may seem like favoritism, but it’s really just basic human nature. If you’re an asset to the organization, your boss will be more responsive to your concerns. Also, the mere fact that you excel at your job will act as a confidence booster. It will give you the self-assurance you need to approach your supervisor.

Know What You Are Going to Say

Prepare in advance. Remember: your boss is busy. A rambling, unsure presentation will lower your chances of getting what you want.

Instead, figure out exactly what you want to say. Gather research to back up your arguments and organize your thoughts. That way, you can make a concise, convincing pitch once the conversation begins.

Pick the Right Time

Also, make sure to choose a good time to approach your manager. Read your boss’s mood and talk to them when they seem most open to a discussion. Don’t bother them when they are busy or push a subject too far.

For larger topics, schedule a formal meeting and set the stage ahead of time. A surprise attack isn’t likely to go well.

Try to Build a Relationship Over Time

You don’t want your boss to become a distant figure in your life. This will only make them more intimidating. Instead, you want to encourage an easy back-and-forth. That involves investing a little time in relationship-building.

Don’t only approach your boss when you need something. Try to cultivate a connection over time. Engage in small talk and approach them with lower-priority situations to build a rapport. Then, you’ll be less nervous when a bigger topic comes up.

Choose Your Small-Talk Topics Wisely

There’s a warning to mention here: don’t get too comfortable. You might develop a close friendship with your supervisor. However, they are still your boss. There are certain topics that send the conversation spiraling in directions you won’t appreciate.

For relationship-building conversations, stick to uncontroversial topics. Ask about their hobbies and their families. Debate sports and chat about your backgrounds.

But stay away from hot-button subjects, like politics or religion. Also, save discussions about your performance or your compensation for more formal reviews. They don’t represent good conversation fodder for a casual chat in the break room.

The perfect job involves a good rapport with your supervisor. That gets easier when you’re in a strong company with a welcoming corporate culture. You can find this through a top staffing agency, like SmartTalent. They can place you in the ideal environment for your skills and background.

Contact SmartTalent today for more details.

banner