The Power of a Well-Placed Word

Picture this: You’re a marketing manager and you’ve noticed that your boss tends to dismiss your team’s creative ideas during meetings. This pattern has led to frustration among your team members and stifled innovation. You realise that by giving your boss feedback on this issue, you can create a more collaborative environment that ultimately benefits the entire organisation. This situation is all too familiar for many leaders, and it’s one that requires a delicate touch.

In this post, we’ll walk you through a simple decision-making tool to help you give feedback to your boss effectively, strengthen your relationship, and improve your work environment.


Why Giving Feedback Matters

The benefit of learning to give feedback to your boss is clear: It can lead to better communication, increased trust, and a more positive working environment. By sharing your insights, you demonstrate that you’re invested in the success of your team and your organisation as a whole. Remember, small decisions can have a big impact.


The Core Issue: Fear of Confrontation

Many people hesitate to give feedback to their boss because they’re worried about the potential fallout. Will it be seen as career-limiting? Or could it actually be an opportunity? The key is to approach the situation with sensitivity and preparation.


The Art of Giving Feedback

1. Define Your Goal

Before initiating a conversation with your boss, be clear about what you want to achieve. What is the purpose of giving feedback in this situation? For instance, it could be that your boss’s micromanagement is becoming a frustration, impacting your confidence and decision-making. Knowing your goal will help you stay focused and articulate your message effectively.

2. Choose the Right Time

Timing is crucial. Avoid ambushing your boss; instead, give them some lead time and request a meeting to discuss specific situations that you’d like to address. As the transcript suggests, you could say, “Look, I’d really appreciate if we get together and have a chat, there are a few situations that are taking place that I’d like to discuss with you and get your feedback on.” This allows both parties to prepare mentally for the conversation.

3. Declare Your Intent

Explain why you’re having this conversation and how it impacts you, whether it’s affecting your decision-making, confidence, or overall job satisfaction. Being upfront about your motivations can help to minimise defensiveness.

4. Offer Practical Options and Suggestions

When discussing the situation, be specific about what you need from your boss and why it’s important. For example, if your boss’s micromanagement is the issue, explain how giving you more autonomy can lead to better outcomes for the team. As the transcript mentions, “explain to them what you need and why you need it, and what impact will that have as a result of them doing that.”

5. Be Loyal, Direct, and Respectful

Emphasise that your intention is to be loyal, not disloyal. Clarify your intent, be practical about your requests, and let your boss understand your motivation. As the transcript states, “Your motivation, in this case, is to actually be able to do your work and deliver on their expectations, and that’s why you’re having this conversation.” Remember, they have feelings too, and your respectful, direct approach will likely be appreciated.

The Next Step: Implementing Change

Once you’ve had the conversation, keep an eye on the situation and monitor any changes. It may take some time for your boss to adjust their approach, but your effort in giving feedback can lead to a stronger working relationship and a more positive work environment.

Your Feedback Checklist

  1. Define your goal for giving feedback
  2. Choose the right time to initiate the conversation
  3. Declare your intent and motivation
  4. Offer practical options and suggestions
  5. Approach the situation with loyalty, directness, and respect

By following these steps, you can give feedback to your boss effectively and create lasting, positive change in your organisation. Remember, it’s the small decisions that make a big impact. The practical examples from the transcript have been incorporated to help illustrate the importance of each step and provide guidance on how to handle real-life scenarios. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently navigate the delicate process of giving feedback to your boss and foster a more productive and collaborative work environment.