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You might be excelling at your personal goals, but that won’t help if you and your boss define success differently, says A. Roger Merrill, consultant and author of Talent Unleashed: 3 Leadership Conversations to Ignite the Unlimited Potential in People. Ask your manager if to go over his or her expectations and what your most important tasks are. “As you talk it over, you’ll almost always find some discrepancies,” Merrill says. “You can work hard and your boss thinks you’re not doing a job, not because you’re untrustworthy but because you’re not on the same page.” Don’t make it a one-time conversation either—keep an ongoing dialogue to make sure you’re hitting all your boss’s goals for you, Merrill says.
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Discuss goals with your boss that are action-oriented rather than outcome-oriented so that you can prove you’re making measurable steps to help the company, says Paul Zak, PhD, author of Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies. “If I say to increase sales, it’s so vague that it’s a chronic stressor,” he says. “But if I say the goal is to make five more sales calls per week, that’s an action I can take and document and be really transparent about.” Here are effortless ways to be more productive at work.