Just as asking questions is essential to establishing clear communication with a supervisor reporting on your progress is important, too. Supervisors by nature want to know what´s going on. They need to be kept informed and if you don´t let them know what´s going on, they may get a little nervous, testy even. But don´t wait and find out. Instead, do what you can to keep your supervisor informed. After all, it is your responsibility to let your boss know what´s going on. If you don´t want to make a pest of yourself, ask your supervisor (this is one of those questions I was talking about earlier in the week"?¦) how often he or she wants to be kept informed. Also, find out if an e-mail will work or would they prefer a face-to-face meeting? Maybe you´ll need to provide information in a variety of ways. But whatever you do, make it easy for everyone and stay committed.
When you complete a task it´s a good idea to let your supervisor know. Don´t wait for your boss to track you down. Everyone is really busy and by adding unnecessary detective work to your boss´s already packed schedule you´re only making things more stressful-not just for your supervisor but ultimately for you as well.
If you get stuck along the way, ask for help. A good supervisor knows that people will get to a point that confounds their efforts to move forward. It´s called getting stuck and it happens to everyone. What´s not good is when we allow our "stuckness" stay that way. It´s our responsibility to get ourselves unstuck. We may not know how, but we can sure ask for help. When you do get your answer, however, make sure you document what you´ve learned. Don´t rely on your packed brain to store it all without some backup. This is especially important since a similar issue is likely to rear it´s friendly head in the future.
Finally, when, not if, you do encounter some difficulties, talk to your supervisor. But remember there are lots of ways to handle problems and if you tend to fret you may experience resistance as you attempt to resolve the issue. I´m not suggesting that you smile from ear to ear when Murphy´s Law drops in for a visit. This is when that "can do" attitude can come in handy. Indeed, before you even bring up the problem scan your brain for some solutions so that at the very least you can demonstrate the fact that you´re trying to improve the situation and not simply waiting for someone else to make everything okay. Neediness is not a good thing in these situations. So if you need to fall apart, do so before you contact your supervisor.
Next week: Getting Along with Your Colleagues