From time to time, you may need to know how to give constructive feedback to your boss. Bosses are not perfect, and most welcome constructive criticism if presented properly. There are pitfalls to avoid, and proper techniques to use when confronting your boss with an issue. Sticking to these guidelines can help you get the best response and avoid an ugly confrontation with your boss.
- Set Up a Meeting. Ask for a time convenient to your boss, not to you. Most managers are extremely busy, so be prepared to have to wait for the meeting time.
- Define the Issue. Did you play a role in the conflict? Was it a mix up in communications?
- Put Concerns in Writing. Forget the small, petty issues. Concentrate on the larger problems.
- Keep it Professional. When talking to your boss, stay calm and professional, and use unemotional language.
- Be positive. Leave any attitude or anger outside the door, and portray a positive demeanor.
- Listen to The Boss's Feedback. Don't be defensive if he doesn't agree with you. Listen carefully to his reasons without arguing.
- Admit Your Part in the Conflict. Talk about what you are willing to do to resolve the issue.
- Do Not Find Fault. Remember, you are trying to improve the relationship, not alienate him further.
- Always Let the Boss Have the Last Word. End by asking for constructive feedback on your job performance.
- Keep the Lines of Communication Open. Initiate contact on a regular basis in the future.
Your goal when you give constructive feedback to your boss is to have your concerns heard and acted on, not necessarily to get your way. A professional, unemotional discussion will go a long way toward positive future interaction.