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Keeping your Boss Informed In other words, be careful what you ask for because sometimes you get it!

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Presentation on theme: "Keeping your Boss Informed In other words, be careful what you ask for because sometimes you get it!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Keeping your Boss Informed In other words, be careful what you ask for because sometimes you get it!

2 The Good Old Days The Office of Financial Aid was often able to operate quietly and rarely drew campus-wide attention. The Financial Aid Office 25 years ago...

3 Then... Student Loan Delinquency Reached $85 Billion in Third Quarter. How Successful Are Colleges at Graduating Low-Income Students? The Clery Act U. Va. Named Playboy’s ‘Top Party School ’

4 Stop dreaming about killing your boss. Learn to manage up for a happier workplace.

5 Keeping Your Boss Informed No boss likes being blind-sided by something that one of his or her managers had wind of in advance. No boss wants to be blind-sided by one of his or her peers about an issue that one of his or her managers should have already outlined.

6 Decision Factors … Keep in mind these three things: ▫Those things I could handle and do on my own because they were fully within the authority delegated to me by my position; ▫Those things I could handle and do on my own because they were fully within the authority delegated to me by my position put prudence required informing my superiors just in case there were unforeseen ramifications needed some top cover; and

7 ▫Those things I could not handle or do on my own without informing, and often getting the blessing of, my superiors. ▫But – how do you use this advice since we are really talking about an endless series of judgment calls?

8 Four things to consider: ▫Know your bosses’ style ▫Communicate ▫Learn how to use the boss’s time well ▫Cooperate with others

9 Understand your Boss Not all bosses are the same. ▫Their personalities differ ▫Individual needs for information differ ▫Personal sense of what they should know differs Do I share all and therefore risk appearing insecure and always seeking permission? Do I operate as a lone wolf and hope nothing comes back to haunt me?

10 Fundamentally – it is important to “manage up” by keeping your boss well informed. This requires assessing your boss’s personality, operating style, and information needs. Does your boss want all the details or just the big picture?

11 My Boss is a Micro-Manager Financial Aid is difficult to Micro-Manage. The weeds are really weedy. Over time, if you understand and respect the micro-managing tendencies of your boss, you may be able to earn his/her trust. When needing permission – offer your thoughts on what should be done. You will be seen as a problem solver and one who demonstrates your ability to think creatively.

12 My Boss is a Real Jerk If you don’t like your boss – trying to sabotage or keep him or her uninformed will only in time hurt you. Such behavior also undermines the school’s structure and performance. Do the right thing – even if you don’t like your boss.

13 First things first – and an often ignored point – change your mindset. Accept the fact that you can make your boss happy and that it is possible. You always have a choice, to stay or leave.

14 Know your Bosses’ Style Is your boss an evening person – thus tends to be grouchy and cannot process information in the morning? Does your boss tend to make impulsive decisions at a certain time of the day because s/he is handling something else at that time?

15 How does your boss like to be updated and when? Is an email summary enough? Do you need to provide a daily report? Try to keep your boss happy by understanding his or her style.

16 Communicate When working with a new boss, ask: “how do you want me to communicate with you?”. Do not assume anything. Be honest with your boss – do not hide bad news. Be reliable – always under promise and over deliver.

17 Learn How to Use the Boss’s Time Well Don’t waste your boss’s time on small matters Learn when to involve your boss and when not to involve him or her. Learn when your boss expects to be involved. This will be clearer as time goes by. Initially you may need to ask if you are unclear on something.

18 Communicate the way the boss wants to Some bosses are very hands-on – others may only talk to you once a week or less often. Whatever the style – it is typically up to you to establish and maintain lines of communication. Use emails or stop-by-the-office visits to: ▫Explain what you are working on now ▫What you have finished and what are the results ▫What ways you can help the office

19 Cooperate With Others Learn to cooperate at work early in your work life and prepare yourself. Successful directors work inter department and intra department Don’t whine and complain about working with ____ or ____ department. Build your network with your peers on campus so they can reinforce your communication style with your boss.

20 Do great work This might seem like painfully obvious advice for developing a solid relationship with your new boss – but it bears repeating. Make your boss look good by – guess what – just plain working hard. It’s old- fashioned, but it really works.

21 Five Pivotal Practices of Communicating Up Train your boss to meet with you regularly, if he/she is not already inclined to do so. Come to every meeting with a detailed agenda that YOU establish. Keep a pulse on your boss’s changing priorities. Anticipate problems and offer solutions. Always be prepared to give status reports on your project(s) at anytime.

22 Best Practices for Communicating Annual Report Cheat Sheet Written summary of campus impact of federal regulatory or statutory changes Staff directory with pictures Others?

23 Review Organizational Structure of office – to see if everything is being addressed appropriately. Seek to train where weaknesses are noted. Develop on-going training initiatives Seek to develop your staff to be future leaders in the profession Don’t lead at all times – and don’t lead in all things. Ensure regulatory updates are absorbed properly into everyday actions.

24 Make sure to disseminate information across the campus regarding “must knows” Offer to provide a “Financial Aid 101” session through your Continuing Ed Center. Work collaboratively with each office that is vital to compliance functions Reach out to your External Affairs individuals (those who work closely with the Media) and offer your assistance

25 Ron Day – Director of Financial Aid at Kennesaw State University, (

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