How 15 minute once-a-week habit erased my job anxiety and increased my boss’s trust in me?


If you are experiencing mental anguish caused by a boss who insists on calling you to report to him or her, you may be able to escape the pain by making better use of email on a regular basis. A reporter for the media outlet Quartz reveals how you can gain your boss’s trust while reducing your own stress just by consistently sending him or her an email once a week.

How to manage up with your boss – Quartz

Quartz’s Khe Hy once had a boss who sent her a mountain of e-mails every day, several times a day, always with the two-word phrase “Call me,” and Hy was fed up with every e-mail she received. When he called his supervisor after receiving an email, the conversational response was always gentlemanly, and the content was mostly not bad news for Hy, such as checking on the progress of a project, a simple question and answer session, or a “compliment. However, Hy felt unnecessary stress with a queasy feeling in her stomach every time she received an e-mail from her supervisor requesting a phone call. Hy recalls that this was due to a difference in communication style.

In general, management is often thought of as a one-way process. It is often thought of as a one-way communication from the supervisor to the subordinate, such as issuing instructions and requesting reports. According to Hy, however, this is an incomplete view of the boss-subordinate relationship, noting that books by former Intel CEO Andy Grove and management scholar Peter Drucker, among others, teach that the flow of information from subordinate to superior is important in management. Hy points out that the flow of information from subordinates to superiors is important for management.

Therefore, Hy found it useful to use “e-mail” from himself, as a subordinate, to his supervisor to create a habitual communication. what Hy tried to do by sending e-mails was to “make sure that the supervisor and the subordinate are always in sync. Hy believed that if the supervisor had all the latest information on projects involving his subordinates, he could eliminate the need for phone calls to check in.

Hy practiced sending one e-mail to his boss every Friday afternoon, and the contents of the e-mail would include “work that Hy completed that week,” “work that may change the deadline or obstacles he is facing,” “work that Hy has completed but is waiting for his boss’s decision or other team members’ progress,” and “work that is waiting for his boss’s approval or other team members’ progress. Hy decided to write three short sentences: “Work that has been completed but is waiting for a supervisor’s decision or waiting for other team members’ progress”.

In addition, Hy refined his weekly Friday email writing process by using a timer to ensure that he did not spend more than 15 minutes composing the email, and by preparing a typical template to speed up the process.

Hy was able to avoid his boss’s attack of demanding phone calls through his weekly Friday email strategy, and he has continued to send one email a week for more than 10 years since then, without losing his boss’s trust in him. And beyond the trust of his bosses, he says the biggest benefit has been the relief from the stress that makes his stomach churn.