How To Tell Your Boss About Your Goals Without Making Things Worse

You’ve got big goals. That’s awesome!

How do you tell your boss about them without making things worse?

There’s nothing wrong with having big dreams and bold plans. How you approach it with your boss, however, can make the difference in whether you are seen as a threat, dismissed as having your head in the clouds, or taken seriously. Here are some tips for making that conversation a success.

Embrace and respect the gap

There’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be. That’s OK. Recognize that this gap creates energy and conflict. Conflict means a potential for damage if not handled well. Not everyone will see the gap like you see it.

Disclose your motives

Nothing invites a boss to feel defensive quicker than hidden motives. Be honest about your end-game. How do you want to feel differently than you feel now? What will things be like when you reach your goals? What are you trying to accomplish.

Engage with humility and curiosity

You can’t reach your goals without a lot of help from others, including your boss. Go into the conversation with attitude that you have a lot to learn, and are willing to be curious and open. Ask your boss to share information, advice and wisdom that could help. Get their perspective and feedback about your goals. If they are skeptical, get curious about it and learn what it would take to gain their confidence and support.

Accept the consequences

Pursuing goals requires dedication, sacrifice, and choices. The more you learn about and accept the consequences of your goals, the more people will want to help you.

Find the WHY

Why are you doing this? Deep down, what is this really about? What principles or values are at stake? You’ve got to connect the dots for yourself, and for your boss. Without purpose, it’s very difficult to keep focused on your vision.


Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. What are they experiencing and how do your goals impact them? Tune in and listen for their perspective and show compassion for where they are coming from.

Try these strategies to engage your boss as a partner in your success rather than an adversary who’s getting in your way.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2018

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