We talked last week about things news teams wish their bosses did more – things great bosses are always working on doing better. Now it’s time to turn that around and ask what managers need more of from their teams.
Be a team player
Recognize that the boss has a newsroom full of employees to accommodate. Know that you won’t get every holiday you ask for off, or every opportunity to anchor you angle for. Another way to say it is to be resilient in the face of “no,” and to see it as a “not now.” A good boss makes an effort to be fair to everyone and recognizes when you make sacrifices to help someone else on the team out.
Ask for feedback
Sure, managers should be providing regular, substantive feedback, but you own your own growth. Don’t wait until annual review time or even a monthly meeting to find out how you’re doing. Make a point to get feedback regularly from your news director or others inside or outside the newsroom whose guidance you value. It could be as simple as asking “what do you think I could have done better on that story?” Asking for feedback shows initiative.
Look for opportunities to learn or try something new
Seeking out opportunities to learn and grow is another way to show initiative. Got a creative idea? Pitch it (but be open to a “no” or “not now”). Find a training opportunity? Ask for time to go – and show how it will help you and the newsroom. Offer to step up when your boss needs help with a task you don’t normally do. You’ll build your skillset and may see more opportunities come your way down the road.
Speak up when something isn’t working
Don’t suffer through if something isn’t working for you in the newsroom, whether it’s a coworker making passive aggressive comments, an assignment you’re unsure about or even an equipment problem. When you’re struggling, your work suffers and so does the newsroom but, unless you speak up, managers may not know and certainly can’t help solve a problem.
Offer solutions when bringing up problems
Speaking up when something isn’t working doesn’t mean just complaining. When you come to the boss with a problem, it helps if you can explain what you’ve already tried to do to solve it, show how it’s hurting your work and offer ideas on what could make the situation better. Having ideas or suggestions in mind shows the boss you’re a problem solver and helps you come up with better solutions together.
One more great way to impress the boss is to step up as a leader in your newsroom from whatever role you're in. Get leadership skills this summer at our leadership summit.