7 Kickass Tips To Stand Up To Your Boss – When To Do It

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Most of us are willing to stand up for ourselves in our personal matters. But when it comes to stand up to our bosses in the workplace, we shy away and do what we get told to do.

It’s difficult to figure out what to do in a situation where we are getting pulled in two different directions.

How To Stand Up To Your Boss – 7 Tips To Nail It

You must be wanting to please your boss and be in his good books. But at the same time, you can’t tolerate his unfair treatment anymore.

But you have to address the issues that are disturbing your peace of mind. How to stand up to your boss? When to stand up to your boss and what to say? This article has all in it!

1. Determine When To Have The Conversation

Picking up the perfect time to talk to your boss is the first and essential step. Arrange a one-on-one meeting with your boss to stand up to him and avoid doing it in front of others.

Also, you should talk to your boss when the working process is slow in the office. So you can catch your boss free from any kind of crisis.

Pick The Right Time To Stand Up To Your Boss
Determine When To Have The Conversation

Set up your meeting with your boss directly, don’t involve another executive in this process.

If you directly ask your boss to see you in person, be ready to have the conversation on the spot. Go prepared!

2. How To Stand Up To Your Boss – Be Specific And Avoid Accusations

To make sure your success, you need to frame your problem in a perfect way. You should use your observational skills and stay specific.

On the other hand, avoid being accusatory or talking in a general manner. Because that brings confusion.

For instance, you can’t say to your micromanaging boss that he’s always hovering over you. Instead, mention to him that he checked on you 12 times last week for your latest project.

If there’s a specific reason for doing so, they’ll discuss it, and they will solve the matter.

3. Avoid The Criticism Approach

Be calm when you go to stand with your boss; use a light, positive tone. Avoid directly telling your boss that his micromanaging is affecting you and you hate it.

Remember that being critical will only make your boss defensive, and he won’t listen to you with an open mind.

How To Stand Up To Your Boss
Avoid The Criticism Approach

Instead of picking up the things they do, present your opinion as a perspective they haven’t thought of yet.

Explain how your perspective is going to be effective and why. But be open to their options as well.

4. Don’t Be Aggressive

If you allow someone to make you angry, you’re indirectly letting them have control over you.

It’s true in the matter of workplace conflicts. If you’re overly emotional and easily become angry or sensitive, you will lose control of the situation.

Being angry with your boss won’t solve anything; instead, it will bring troubles for you.

So before approaching your boss with a complaint or suggestion, be sure to keep yourself calm and clear-minded.

5. How To Stand Up To Your Boss – Stay Confident

It’s important to stay calm when approaching your boss, but it’s equally important not to be afraid.

If you go with a confused look, mumbled words and lowered eyes, you’ll ruin the situation by looking like a fool.

Develop Confidence Before Meeting Your Boss
How To Stand Up To Your Boss – Stay Confident

So be confident when you talk to the manager. Take deep breaths, sit straight, have proper eye contact with your boss; keep your voice calm and talk positively.

Remember, it’s your right to talk to your boss if you have complaints or concerns.

If you’re doing it the right way and show respect, you don’t need to feel apologetic.

6. Present Your Solutions

After you’re done explaining your concerns, try to offer some reasonable solutions as well. Don’t go to your boss with a long list of complaints.

Because there’s a likeliness of your boss asking for the possible solutions. Your boss can ask, “How do you think we should resolve this issue?” So you should be able to answer reasonably.

For instance, if you tell your boss that you’re overworked, request him to extend the deadlines. You can also suggest him to team-up someone with you to help you complete the project.

Your boss might not accept your suggestions, but you should present it anyway to be clear about what you want.

7. How To Stand Up To Your Boss – Finish The Conversation With Questions

In the end, to make sure that your requests are heard, end the meeting with questions. For instance, ask them, “What can we do to make fix these issues?”

Ask Questions To Know The Opinion Of Your Boss
How To Stand Up To Your Boss – Finish The Conversation With Questions

It will show that you respect your boss’s opinion and he will be engaged in solving the problem.

Don’t block the conversation with objections; it can put your job into the red zone.

When To Stand Up To Your Boss – 4 Questions

A boss-employee relationship has never been perfect, and it never can be in the future. But still, this relationship is important for your career development and general workplace happiness.

There are times when you can fix the situation without having to stand up to your boss. But then there are times, it becomes unbearable, and you should stand up to your boss.

To determine that time, ask yourself the following questions.

1. How Long Will You Be Working For Your Boss?

Are you and your boss permanently working for this job? Or is it temporary? If you are not going to stay too long at this job, then it’s not worth standing up to your boss.

See If This Job Is Permanent
How Long Will You Be Working For Your Boss

However, if he’s going to be your boss for years, then saying something would be considerable.

2. Is Your Boss More Powerful Than You?

If you are a new hire at the company and your boss is working there for years with a good reputation, then your relative power is low.

But if you have been at the company for years and your boss is a new hire, then you are relatively more powerful.

The more power you have, less risky it will be to stand up to your boss.

3. Does Your Boss Behaves The Same With Everyone Else?

Do you think everyone else in the office is annoyed by your boss or is it just you?

How To Stand Up To Your Boss
Does Your Boss Behaves The Same With Everyone Else

If everyone in the team is fed up with this behaviour, it’s the right time to speak up.

The more people by your side, the lesser the risk of standing up to the boss.

4. What Happens If You Do Nothing?

This is the most important question of them all. Are you not willing to stand up to your boss? You’ll have to pay the cost of living a miserable work life.

You’ll be dreading coming to work each day.

It might be risky to stand up to your boss, but in the end, it’s always worth it.

5 Times You Should Stand Up To Your Boss

Now you do know how to determine the right time to stand up to your boss. But here are 5 examples of those times for your clarity. 

1. When Your Boss Pays You Incorrectly

It’s inevitable to ignore getting underpaid. You work to get the money they hired you for.

Stand Up To Your Boss If He Does Not Pay You
When Your Boss Pays You Incorrectly

So make sure to stand up to your boss and ask him to pay you correctly. It can be due to a mistake, but you need to deal with it quickly.

2. When They Steal Your Idea

Bosses always steal a bit of the credit of the team’s work. They also get held accountable for the mistakes of the team.

But that should happen in a limit. If your boss blatantly passes on your work as theirs and steals the credit for everything you do.

Then you must take the required action. But talk to them in a private room rather than confronting it in front of everyone else.

3. When You Feel Underused

If you feel like you are getting underused and never get the opportunity to shine, you must speak up. However, if you don’t then stay always unsatisfied.

It Is The Time To Speak Up When You Do Not Get To Shine
When You Feel Underused

Identify the areas in business where you think you can add value and present your suggestions to your boss.

4. When They Ask You To Work Late

Offering help to work late with your boss is another thing, but if it happens daily, you must address it.

Your boss should respect your personal time and don’t disturb your work-life balance.

However, if it’s necessary to work late, you must ask for compensation for your efforts.

5. When They Make It Personal

Your boss has the right to address your poor performance or misconduct. But they should do it in a proper way.

If their criticism of your performance seems more like a personal attack, you’ve to stand up for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Stand Up For Myself Without Getting Fired?

Arrange a private meeting with your boss and be clear about your concerns. Watch your language and don’t get aggressive. Offer possible solutions to your boss and don’t burn the bridges.

Is It OK To Stand Up To Your Boss?

People fear the idea to standing up to their boss because they might get fired. But it’s possible to stand up to your boss without getting fired. It even has the chance of increasing respect and communication between you two.

What Do You Do When You Can't Stand Your Boss?

Stop calling them your boss and create your own client service model for them. Be clear about why did you choose this job. Have an authentic conversation with your boss about why he’s behaving like this.

How Do I Defend Myself To My Boss?

Set your own boundaries with the boss and don’t let him cross any limit. During the process, human resources might not have your back. Take notes of your boss’s actions. When everything fails, find a new job.


If you talked to your boss according to the given tips, but nothing good happens. Then what to do next?

The next and last option is to document your boss’s behaviour and go to HR, let them guide you for next.

What’s the advantage? If your organization is smart enough, they’ll be having a feedback mechanism.

The feedback of HR and employees will help bosses to identify their flaws and correct them.

Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Last Updated on 10 hours by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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