When your Boss says “We need to talk”…

Yep, the most dreaded sentence in the workplace.  Guaranteed to put your stomach in knots.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Its perfectly normal to feel anxious when your boss says “please see me”.  The first thing you think is “Oh crap!  What did I do?”  We are conditioned to expect that most feedback is going to be negative.  We’ve gotten used to our paychecks being our reward for working, and only hearing from the higher ups when something goes awry.  In my opinion though, 9 times out of 10 you’ve caused yourself unnecessary stress by thinking the worst.

Look at it this way –Get ready for the maybe, then forget about it.  You can do this by imagining your response to your worst case scenario and then filing it away. Retrieve it only if necessary.  You’ve already thought out what you might say, so even if the sitch goes south you can hopefully maintain your composure.  After all, maintaining composure at work is essential – and expected.

My personal experiences have taught me that my boss usually has a project for me, a heads up about something, an opportunity for me, or even maybe a personal story to share.  Rarely, if ever, have I been called on the carpet. Not that I haven’t been blindsided a few times. It happens.  But I’ve found I can hold onto what’s left of my sanity much easier if I don’t freak out over something that hasn’t happened yet.  I spend a couple seconds or minutes figuring out ‘what I might do if…” and then set it aside. So there you have it for what it’s worth. That – and a $1.79 – will get me a Dunkaccino.


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