Communicating Up the Ladder
Most professionals have multiple people they report to. In all cases you will have a boss who you report to (Functional Leader). This is the person who will make pay raise and promotion recommendations. You will also have people who you work for in the course of your professional life. These persons may be called clients, project team leaders, or have other titles. (Clients) you are doing work for these people in your professional capacity.
In the course of your regular work week you may have more contact with your clients than you do with your functional leader. In fact you may not even see your functional leader for a while if you do a lot of traveling.
Here are some tips on what you should do to keep all people you work with informed.
- Prepare a progress report each week to let everyone know what you have done (functional leader and client)
- Have a regularly scheduled face-to-face meeting with your functional leader to let him/her know how your work is being accepted.
- Communicate any special situations that occur
- Comments you receive that are significant
- Reactions to proposals – good and bad
- Information on insights that you have developed
- Summaries of data you have collected that you think are insightful
- Descriptions of ideas you are considering
- Whatever you communicate go beyond just the factual statements. Give background for the factual statements and support materials.
As a rule of thumb, when in doubt whether information should be communicated, err on the side of communicating.