We have all been there... your boss gave you their word on something and then when push comes to shove, suddenly there is silence.
Everyone has been in a scenario like it - your boss made you a promise, and then... nothing! It can be the promise of a specific day off (and now you are scheduled?!), a future promotion (and then someone else is announced in the role?) or the lead on a project (that is now mysteriously cancelled?!). Whatever it is, frustrating is probably the only word to describe the scenario.
So, when a friend reached out to me about a scenario like the one described above, I passed on some advice to get the most of her next conversation with her boss. Here were my suggestions to lead conversation and get the answers she was looking for:
FIND THE RIGHT TIME
When your anger, frustration or disappointment is at an all-time high, please avoid starting this conversation!! And similarly, do not pick a time when your boss is super busy and does not have time to focus. Instead, set-up a one-on-one meeting or ask them in the morning if they can set aside 15 minutes for an important question later in the day. Remember that this conservation is super important to you, so choosing lunch time or a super casual setting by the water cooler to bring up the issue is not the best idea.
BRING UP THE SUBJECT
Be concise and say something like "I know we previously talked about the issue back in March and I wanted to take a chance to follow-up with you." For me, practicing my "key line" few times gives me more confidence when I am in the room.
DON'T TAKE THE "IT'S YOU, NOT ME" APPROACH
In this scenario chances are your boss has messed up. Not because they do not care, but because the issue may not have been as important to them (as it is to you), they genuinely forgot, company priorities changes or something came up that changed their ability to say yes (and then they forgot to give you the update).
Regardless, saying "I told you about the issue and now I want an answer on why it did not happen", will probably not get you the result you want. Instead say something like "I wanted to follow-up and see if my personal performance or the current business conditions impacted the timeline we discussed in our last conversation."
This approach speaks to your maturity, understanding and personal accountability (if any) in the discussion.
This type of conversation is never easy to have, but take it from me, you will feel a million times better once you get the conversation off of your chest and find out some more answers.