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An Objectives & Goals Clarification Meeting With a Manager

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Meeting with your manager to discuss your goals and objectives is an effective way to maintain a positive relationship with your boss to avoid miscommunications. Whether you’re looking to move up the ladder or just to make sure you’re on the same page with a superior about your current duties, preparing for your meeting will help you get the results you want.

Review Your Career Goals

Whether you’re looking to meet with your boss to discuss what the goals and expectations are for your job, or your career at the company, take stock of your career plan. This will help you determine if you need to add responsibilities to your current role that will help you advance. Look for skill building and ways to earn accomplishments that will help you move up the ladder, even if it means leaving the company.

Find Your Job Description

If you kept the want ad for the job that ran when you were hired, or if you have a written job description, review it. Compare it with your daily activities to determine if it’s accurate and up to date. The original goals set for your position might not have been realistic, or the company’s objectives might have changed since you were hired. If you haven’t been performing part of the duties listed in your job description, this might not be from negligence -- your job might have changed. Prepare to discuss your current job description in terms of your goals, including how your current objectives diverge from your original job description.

Rewrite It

Rewrite your job description based on your expertise as the one who’s now performing it. The company might not have considered your skill set when they wrote the description for the position. Your human resources department might not have completely understood the work, or the company might have gone through some changes. Rewrite your job description as you would recommend it to your boss. Include the realities affecting your position today and any personal goals you’d like to create.

Prep Your Boss

Send a copy of your original job description to your boss before your meeting. Include your observations on how it’s changed. Offer your suggested new job description. Let your boss know you’d like to talk about advancement, including specific goals and objectives you can pursue to increase your value to the company and move up the ladder. If you’re clarifying goals and objectives because of confusion, list the goals you think are confusing, asking to discuss these in your upcoming meeting.

Make Your Case

Don’t start your meeting by telling your boss what you want. Let her begin the discussion, asking her to comment on your two job descriptions. Take time to explain what you’ve submitted and answer any questions before you begin pressing for changes. Consider asking your boss to rate your strengths and weaknesses and ask for goals for improvement. After your boss has made her points and asked her questions, present your suggestions for new goals and objectives in the context of how they will meet her expectations. Ask her to discuss where she sees you in one to three years and if there are any performance benchmarks you can set to ensure you obtain those possible opportunities.


Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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