Is it high time to give feedback to your boss? Here’s a complete guide on how to give constructive feedback to your boss.
What will I learn?
Whether your boss asked for it, or you want to give the feedback, you have to well-think it.
How To Give Constructive Feedback To Your Boss
Constructive feedback is necessary to improve your relations with others. Likewise, it is essential when you have a superior. You have to say how their behavior affects you and how they can improve it.
Here’s a step by step guide for you to give constructive feedback to your boss:
1. What Exactly They Did That You Don’t Like:
When you want to give constructive feedback, say the incident and how it affected your work.
It is better to blame them or put yourself away from this situation. For example:
“I felt uncomfortable when you crossed my words and didn’t let me express myself.”
So as you can see, I was not accusing him of anything. It is an example of how a boss should behave to feel more comfortable at work.
Try to avoid sentences such as “You always do that!”. It makes it seem as if only now that you discovered the problem.
Likewise, it seems the boss never did anything about it. You do not want to give such vibes for your feedback.
2. How They Can Improve Their Behavior:
Now that you said what they did wrong, it is time to say how the boss can fix it.
Don’t use the word “always.” For example:
“I appreciate if next time when we meet you will listen carefully what I have to say. Moreover, you will don’t cross my words without letting me express myself.”
This sentence gives a subtle hint of what was terrible with this situation. It does not blame your boss.
It suggests how they can improve their behavior to make each other more comfortable.
3. Acknowledge What They Did Right:
Constructive feedback isn’t only about saying the negative things your boss did. It would be best to say something about what they did well.
For example, if the boss is always critical of your work, but you are not sure if their criticism is correct or not. Mention how much this helps you improve yourself.
“I appreciate how much you care about my work. Please criticize me whenever I make mistake so I can fix it.”
Use phrases like “I appreciate…” or “I enjoy…”. These words will show your boss that you value them and their actions.
At this point, it is also good to give some examples of times when they did great things for you.
4. Practical Tips:
Here are some practical tips that will help you master the art of giving feedback.
4.1 Let Them Talk:
First off, let them talk. It is okay to give time for your boss to express themselves. Try to put yourself in their position too.
Imagine how you would feel when someone gives harsh comments on your behavior. Not being able to explain yourself and getting all the blame is harsh.
4.2 Prefer Calling Or Emailing Over Face-To-Face Meeting:
When you want to give feedback, could you not say it face-to-face? Give them a call or send an email.
In this way, it will be easier and more comfortable for both of you. Face-to-face can be very intimidating.
It is easier to say positive things in email than during face-to-face meetings.
4.3 Use Soft Words:
If this is your first time giving such feedback, make sure the person knows that you are not accusing them. Use soft words and phrases.
It makes it clear how much you care about good relations with them and their feelings in general.
4.4 Ask For Their Opinion:
Ask them how do they think about your feedback. You want a dialogue, not a monologue.
Let them tell you their point of view and why they did it in this way.
After hearing from the other people’s side, make sure to give yours too.
If you have more suggestions or if you found out new things about their behavior, share them with them.
Make sure to listen to how the person reacts after giving feedback. If they are open for conversation, make sure you ask questions.
Your goal is to share your feelings and learn together how can both of you improve your relationship.
Sharing your opinion is one thing, but ask them how they feel about it? That shows respect towards them too.
4.5 Be Professional:
Last but not least, make sure to be professional when giving feedback.
Avoid using phrases like: “You always do that! you messed up my presentation and I’m mad about it!”
Instead of sounding angry and hurt, your boss will sense that you are calm and collected.
It is hard to listen to someone when yelling or blaming others. Soft words show your professionalism and concern for their feelings.
Sample Script To Give Constructive Feedback To Your Boss:
Here is a sample script to give feedback to your boss:
1. “I appreciate you taking time for us to meet.” That way, they already know something important is about to happen.
2. Instead of saying “you never let me finish,” say something like:
“When we were doing X, you interrupted me when I was trying to explain Y.”
3. “I feel frustrated because of Z.”
4. “So next time, I think it would be more helpful for us if you let me finish my explanation first.”
5. Then ask them: “What do you think about that?”
6. After they respond, give your own opinion. Be sure to use soft words.
7. When the conversation is over, make sure to end with a positive sentence like:
“Thanks again for meeting up today,” and then stop.
8. For positive feedback, say:
“I appreciate it when you, thanks for doing that”
9. “How do you think about what I told you?”
10. “What are your thoughts on that?”
11. “Does that make sense to you? Can we have another meeting next week to catch up on our progress?”
12. “Here is how I feel, does this make sense or should we talk more about it?” have a dialogue, not a monologue!
Sample Email To Give Feedback To Your Boss:
Here’s a sample email you can send to your boss:
“Subject: Meeting today
I hope you are well.
The purpose of this email is to discuss a matter with you. I feel it is essential to bring this up, and I hope you will be open to my feedback.
My main concern is that you interrupt me with questions when we’re in a meeting.
It makes it hard for me to convey what I am saying and interrupts our progress with the meeting.
I know that sometimes you do that because you think I forgot about something.
Likewise, you think I missed a step. However, if this happens more often, it makes me feel frustrated.
So next time, I think it would be more helpful if you let me finish my explanation first.
We will have enough time to address your questions all at once.
Please note that no one is perfect, including me. I hope you can understand why this felt frustrating for me. We can improve our meeting time in the future this way.
If you would like to discuss further, I am happy to do that over the phone or a brief meeting this week.
I appreciate your attention on this matter and will speak with you soon!
Sample Script To Avoid When Giving Feedback To Boss:
Now that we talked about what to say, here is what not to say:
1. “As your employee, I feel that you always do this and blame me for what happened”
It does not sound professional at all. If you say something like this, your boss will never listen to another word you have to say.
2. “Oh my god I’m so mad! You give me no credit ever!”
No matter how confident you feel, avoid using the words ‘you’ and ‘I.’
For example: “You don’t respect me when we talk about X.” Instead, it should be, “I feel frustrated because of Z.”
3. Never use arrogant language such as: “You should listen to me because I am right.” It is a very toxic statement and can get out of hand.
4. “I don’t know why you are like this. You must be stupid!”
Although it is more of an internal dialogue, never call your boss ‘stupid.
5. Never ask “why” when giving feedback. If you want to get feedback from your boss, try starting with a question like::
“What do you think about that?”
Giving feedback is an art. It can be challenging to master, but it’s worth it in the end.
You will have better working relationships with your boss. They will be more comfortable around you.
Please explain how you felt about what they did and how it affected you. Moreover, please do not blame your boss.
Instead, share how they can improve next time. Be calm and professional when talking to them.
Avoid being harsh and yelling at them. Likewise, share positive feedback if your boss did something good for you.
Use our practical tips to master the art of giving constructive feedback to your boss.
Last Updated on 1 year by Shahzaib Arshad
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