11 Essential Questions to Ask Your Manager for Career Growth

Posting date: 12 Jul 2023

Are you looking to enhance your performance at work and advance your career? One effective way to achieve this is by engaging in open and productive conversations with your manager and taking true accountability for your own development and performance.

During appraisals or in 1:1s, asking the right questions will demonstrate your commitment to improvement, gain valuable insights and perhaps highlight any blind spots you haven’t identified yourself!  In this blog post, we'll share 11 simple but powerful questions you can ask your manager to foster a constructive dialogue and propel your professional development.

What specific goals should I work towards to improve my performance?

Seeking clarity on your performance objectives shows your dedication to personal growth. Understanding the specific goals expected of you allows you to align your efforts with organisational expectations and enhance your overall effectiveness.

What could I focus more of my time on?

By asking this question, you invite your manager to identify areas where you can make a greater impact. This insight enables you to prioritise your tasks and allocate your time and energy to areas that are most important to your manager and the organization.

What could I focus less of my time on?

Understanding what tasks or activities are less critical allows you to streamline your workload and eliminate unnecessary distractions. This question demonstrates your willingness to optimise your productivity and contribute more effectively to the team's goals.

What can I help you with?

Expressing your willingness to support your manager shows initiative and a proactive attitude. By offering assistance, you build rapport, strengthen your working relationship, and position yourself as a valuable team member who goes above and beyond.

What are your top priorities for this month?

By inquiring about your manager's priorities, you gain insight into the most pressing tasks and projects. Aligning your work with these priorities demonstrates your commitment to the team's success and ensures your efforts are aligned with the organisation's strategic objectives.

What are your top priorities for this quarter?

Understanding the long-term goals of your manager and the organization allows you to plan your work and contribute effectively to the team's success. It also enables you to anticipate future challenges and opportunities and position yourself accordingly.

How can I better support the new member(s) of our team?

This question highlights your concern for team dynamics and demonstrates your commitment to fostering a supportive work environment. It shows that you are willing to contribute to the onboarding process and help new colleagues integrate smoothly into the team.

Are there any tasks you feel I am neglecting?

By inviting constructive feedback, you demonstrate your openness to improvement and growth. Addressing any overlooked tasks or areas of improvement will help you refine your performance and ensure that you are meeting all expectations.

Do you feel like the business is on track to meet this year's goals?

By discussing the broader organizational goals, you demonstrate your understanding of the bigger picture and your commitment to the company's success. This question also allows you to align your efforts with the organization's strategic objectives and proactively contribute to achieving them.

What's one specific thing I could work on between now and our next meeting to improve my performance?

This question shows your eagerness to continuously develop your skills and excel in your role. It provides you with actionable feedback that you can implement and demonstrate tangible progress before the next meeting or appraisal.

What feedback do you have for me?

Seeking feedback is crucial for personal and professional growth. By actively requesting your manager's input, you show your receptiveness to improvement and your commitment to becoming a better employee. Embrace both positive and constructive feedback as valuable learning opportunities.

Engaging in meaningful conversations with your manager is a proactive step towards career advancement. By using some of these questions during your appraisals or 1:1 meetings, you demonstrate your commitment to personal growth, align your efforts with organisational goals, and foster a productive relationship with your manager. Remember, open communication is key to unlocking your full potential and accelerating your career journey.