How to Give Your Boss Feedback


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Giving your boss feedback can be scary. Your boss makes decisions that impact your pay, job responsibilities, and promotions.

Your boss is human, too. They're bound to make mistakes and operate in imperfection. You can become a critical part of your bosses' success by being one of the rare few willing to give open and honest feedback.

And while it may be uncomfortable, it doesn't have to be complicated. Here's how:

1.) Ask if it's ok.

Avoid the open-ended clique question, "Are you open to feedback?" Be specific about what you want to talk and about and why. Warn your boss if you're going to say something difficult. Pick a time that's right for both of you.

Here's an example: "I'd like to talk with you about XYZ, and some of what I have to say might be hard to hear. Would you be willing to meet?"

2.) Practice.

Take a few minutes to write out what you'd like to say. Then, say it aloud to ensure your tone and words reflect what you intend. Better yet, practice with someone else who can give you perspective.

3.) Schedule the conversation.

Be clear about the purpose of your invitation (e.g., "Feedback on Q1) team meeting.

4.) Have the conversation.

Lead with your main point (avoid the "crap sandwich" of saying something nice, actual feedback, and something nice again). Be clear and kind. Leave plenty of space for your boss to respond.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Please keep sending me questions you want to be answered in the newsletter or on the podcast.

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