What is the most effective way to get some face time with a manager who is frequently too busy?

All senior managers, especially in our industry, tend to be extremely busy, focusing on client demands and expectations.

All senior managers, especially in our industry, tend to be extremely busy, focusing on client demands and expectations. However, there are still several ways to get face time with them.

Get involved in high-priority projects. This means raising your hand in meetings when the boss asks for volunteers to pitch in. Always have a recommendation if you do not agree with a particular course of action. Be sure to speak your mind professionally, but only if you have a reasonable solution in mind.

It also helps to be proactive when it comes to initiatives that may involve peers or other senior managers who your boss may work closely with. Good news travels fast, as well as bad. If you do a killer job working with others in the company, you can be sure that some of it will get back to your boss. You want to be seen as a team player and a "go-to" person in the firm.

It's important to remember that face time isn't necessarily standing in front of your boss for a meeting. It can be how many people know you as a strong resource in the firm [or] your overall reputation. Often, to get ahead, it's the perception others have of you, as well as what your boss thinks. People give time to those they feel make a valuable contribution to the organization.

Michele Chase is MD of US HR at Burson-Marsteller.

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