How To Criticize Your Boss In 12 Safe Ways

Written By Aleena

The ability to criticize your boss in a good way can help you advance in the workplace. Let’s learn how to criticize your boss without damaging your relationship with him.

When done right, criticism improves both professional and personal relationships. Your opinion is important, but it is crucial to deliver constructive criticism.

How To Criticize Your Boss In 12 Safe Ways

When it comes to the workplace, we have to respect authority. As a result, giving constructive criticism can be difficult for most of us.

It is your job to make sure that the work meets the standards. Therefore, tell your boss what he needs to improve so that the team works better.

Here are some tips on how you can be a good critic:

1. Be Specific, Clear, And Professional:

It’s hard to criticize your boss in a way that doesn’t make you look bad. It would help if you were specific, clear, and professional to do this.

How To Criticize Your Boss

If your boss needs to improve their work, don’t say they need to improve. It would help if you gave them specifics.

Point out where they went wrong and how they could change to fix the problem. Be specific about what actions or behavior you want to change.

It will help your boss understand precisely where they went wrong. Being specific also helps avoid confusion. Be clear about why the behavior or action is a problem.

Clear communication helps your boss understand your point and work to improve it.

2. How To Criticize Your Boss – Do Not Attack Him:

Choose wise words. Your boss should realize that you aren’t criticizing their character or work ethic.

When talking to your boss, be sure to focus on the issue rather than them as an individual. You should not go to him and tell him you are wrong.

Rather be professional and explain the situation where he was wrong.

3. Give Examples Of Recent Incidents:

Criticizing your boss is not a pleasant thing to do. However, sometimes it is necessary and crucial for the company’s future.

You can give examples in the form of the recent activities to confirm your point:

For instance:

– A situation where he yelled at a coworker and humiliated him.

– An incident where he took credit for your work.

– When he didn’t manage his team well, and now they are slacking.

4. Have Facts To Back Up Your Opinion:

Most bosses are not open to criticism. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to offer suggestions or ask for advice from them.


To do that, you need to have proof of your point. Moreover, you should have a solid argument to back up what you say. Don’t speak out of spite.

It would help if you had all the facts straight. You need to know what precise topics you will discuss. Have evidence at hand. You can find evidence by talking to other coworkers.

People who are witnesses of your boss’s actions can help you here. Ask them to come with you to talk to your boss.

5. How To Criticize Your Boss – Ask Questions Of His Shortcomings:

Understand your boss’s shortcomings by asking questions: You can ask something like:

– “What can I do to improve?”

– “What can I do to make you a better leader?”

Ask your boss for permission, and ask him questions that help you get to know him. Make a list of questions and then, from time to time, pick one up randomly and ask:

– What are his strengths?

– Who is his role model?

– When is a good time to talk to him?

Now you will know more about your boss and how to criticize him. You don’t want to jeopardize your relationship with him. Therefore knowing what your boss likes and how to talk to him are good strategies.

6. Praise Your Boss When They Do Something Right:

Criticism doesn’t need to be negative and about wrong things. It can be in the form of praise too. When your boss does something right, give them feedback.

It’s easy to tell when boss upsets their employees or try to bring them down. But when they do something right, you shouldn’t be afraid to point it out.

It is true if they do something that improves your life directly. For instance:

– If your boss gives you extra time off

– He treats you like a valued employee

– He makes your job easier in some way

write email to boss

Let them know how much it means to you. And not with words – follow up with an email expressing your appreciation.

7. Be Honest When Criticizing Your Boss:

There’s a difference between being critical and being honest. Criticism means you are attacking the other person.

When you criticize, you try to make yourself look good by making someone else look bad. Being critical shows that you think you know more than your boss does. It’s arrogant and disrespectful.

Honesty is different from criticism. Honesty is about giving feedback to help your boss do a better job. It is about showing respect for your boss.

Be honest with your boss. You don’t need to sugarcoat the truth, but you should avoid being rude. Moreover, do not exaggerate the wrongdoing of your boss.

Don’t be afraid of your boss. Your boss may not like it when you criticize them, but you should still do it to help yourself and your team.

Give credit where credit is due, and offer constructive feedback when necessary.

It’s tough, to be honest with someone you work with every day. However, if they don’t improve, your company will suffer.

8. How To Criticize Your Boss – Try To Do It Privately:

It’s important to criticize your boss privately to avoid offense and boost morale. You also don’t want to make your boss uncomfortable with how you attack them.

Firstly, if you criticize your boss in public, he will snap back. Secondly, he will make your life hell. In conclusion, he might fire you.

criticize privately

Therefore, avoid all this unnecessary drama. Set a meeting with him beforehand and have a constructive talk with your boss.

9. Do Not Make Him Defensive:

When you criticize your boss, it’s essential to avoid making him defensive. If he feels you are attacking him, he will not be open to what you have to say.

To make this conversation productive, try these tips:

– Be willing to listen to your boss’s side of the story.

– Do not use absolutes like “always” or “never.”

– Make sure your tone is respectful and avoid sounding demanding.

– Give helpful ideas to boost his productivity.

– Do not sound rude or aggressive, be polite.

10. Use “I” Instead Of “You”:

What if you go to your boss and say, “You need to improve your work.” Will that calm him or offend him? He might throw you out of the office.

Instead, if you say: “I have thought of some better ways to deal with work.” Then you propose where the problem is and its solutions.

Which of these two statements will be beneficial for you? Of course, the latter. Because as we discussed earlier, you do not want to make your boss defensive.

Therefore, using “I” statements helps keep the conversation neutral and polite.

11. How To Criticize Your Boss – Offer Solutions With Constructive Criticism:

The best way to criticize your boss is to offer solutions to the problems you see. It makes it clear that you’re not pointing out wrong things, which they can take as criticizing.

When you criticize without offering solutions, it’s a lot harder for someone to absorb it. Your boss will get defensive and not want to hear what you say.

offer solutions to boss when to criticize him

When you offer solutions, you understand the business and the problems it faces. It also shows that you’re willing to put yourself out there and take action to help the company succeed.

12. Practice Active Listening:

Active listening is when you focus on criticizing in a way that helps your boss improve. Before speaking with your boss, outline what you will say and how.

Moreover, listen to your boss and what he says on the topic under discussion. He might tell you why he behaved like that and how he wants to change.

Also, if you are criticizing your boss, get his feedback too. Ask your boss to give your positive criticism. When you ask your boss for the same thing, he will be more receptive to your feedback.

Final Words:

Criticizing your boss is often not an easy task. However, giving constructive criticism can help your relationship with him.

Remember to be honest and polite. Do not make your boss defensive. You can ask him questions to get to know him better. Avoid using absolutes like “never” and “always.”

Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Offer solutions along with constructive criticism. Do not attack your boss by being rude. Try to propose ideas with which he can improve himself.

Actively listen to your boss’s side of the story and ask for his feedback too. You should make your boss understand that you are not attacking his character or work ethic.

In conclusion, criticize your boss by helping him improve. Please do not make him look bad.

Last Updated on 3 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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