Your boss is busy. Juggling too many things so they are asking to skip this week's meeting. What do you do?
While it is valuable to be flexible, it is worth remembering that having a strong relationship with your boss will help you do your job better. Here are some reasons why you need to ask for the meeting to continue and some options to keep your work running smoothly.
Good relationships matter
Research shows that the more time colleagues spend together, the better they get along and the more effectively they work togther. If you rarely spend time with your boss, it is hard to build that relationship. In addition, if the only time you meet with your boss, it is due to a problem, you are going to end up with a less solid relationship.
Urgent vs. important
One of the biggest issues in management is balancing the urgent with the important. The urgent is any immediate crisis - it may, or may not, be important. One of your goals as an employee is to help keep the parts of your work that are important moving forward. The last thing that you want is for your project, your campaign, your work to get stuck on the back burner so often that it turns into a problem. You want to work with your boss to ensure that your work continues to move forward so that it doesn't turn into an issue.
Making time to have time
One key to helping ensure this process is to observe your boss and determine what communication style works best for them. As part of this, I tend to be very flexible - I have had everything from walking meetings, lunchtime, phone, and Zoom. I have had 9am Monday meetings and 4pm Friday ones. I have walked countless bosses to their car so that we can spend 10 minute talking about an issue. By being flexible, I have been able to often get the time.
Weekly recap email
If you work with someone who is good at reading their email, a weekly recap email can be a great solution for the day-to-day updates. A short email, well structured, can give your boss updates on routine matters which can free up your time to focus on bigger issues when you do meet.
Your boss is likely busy. The easier you can make it for them to be able to stay in touch with you, the more success you are likely to have.
Ann Rosenfield has been an employee, a manager, and an Executive Director.