How to Give Feedback to Your Boss
One of the big problems we often face is How to let our boss know that he is wrong or How to give feedback to our Boss. After all, Boss is a human being too and there is no reason that he cannot be ever wrong. But the issue is a right manner in which a feedback can be given that can help him genuinely and the organization as a whole. This situation is similar to “How to bell a cat” if the relationship you share with your is very stringent with clear demarcations. However, no matter how hard is your relationship, it is all about the communication. The way you communicate and the way you want it to be perceived makes the whole difference.
In my blog I have often focused on one aspect of communication which is “Not to make other person feel bad about him”. This is similar situation where you have to correct a behavior and at same time make it look like rewarding too. Remember your only aim is to correct a behavior and that too selflessly, anything over and above it should not be expected at all. Boss has the potential to drive your life and you should respect that potent force. So let’s now talk about how to give feedback to your Boss and in a manner that it doesn’t create any problem and at same time solve your purpose too.
Feedback is normally given on a behavior, decision or anything where Boss has intervened and made his authority felt. Hence your effort needs to be concentrated around it only
1) Rephrase the Problem- Depending upon the type of issue you need to rephrase it by bringing the context either directly or indirectly. Though I would recommend clear communication but you can talk about it in passing mention too. Example- There was a case where I felt my Boss had taken a wrong decision, I immediately asked for his time and told him that I have some questions and need his help in rolling the process out. This gave me opportunity to re-phrase the problem from the start.
Similarly if it is a behavior, don’t come on it directly but mention it indirectly.
2) Ask For Help, Comments or Suggestions- Now that you have put the problem in table again, focus on the problems that would occur as part of his decision. Remember this is the phase when you are making your Boss think again about intricacies of his decision and this need to be as smooth as possible. Drive the point to the problems involved in his decisions and makes sure he himself talks about it. If you can make your Boss think about the problem deeply, the realization would himself come in him automatically.
3) Analyze His Decision with Care- The second step above is very crucial and it would ensure that your Boss himself realizes where he was wrong. The next step is to analyze his decision again with him and making sure that he makes the desired changes. Remember you need to drive your Boss again and if you have done the first two steps tactically then this part is not a much problem.
4) Propose a solution in name of your Boss- If you see your boss struggling with the decision, go for the decision but make sure it is named after your Boss. Use of words like “As you rightly pointed out”, “As I could take out from our discussion”, or “As rightly mention by you earlier”. Use these words and drive your point across.
You Are Done- Yes You are done with giving feedback to your boss. Either in step 2 or taking it to step 4, you are done with the feedback to let your Boss know how he was wrong.
But Where id Feedback? If feedback for you means letting your Boss know in his face that he is wrong and making him feel bad about it then this is something I would not recommend at all. For many people feedback simple means that pointing out the bad in others and proving their own worth. This is not recommended at all in this scenario.
On Top of above suggestions you need to be careful about following points while you give feedback to your Boss
1) No Direct Attack- Don’t attack directly. If you want to tell boss that he is wrong then direct attack is a strict No-No
2) Don’t Elevate Yourself- Don’t elevate yourself at the cost of your Boss. Some people have the habit of spreading words of their feats and making themselves look superior. This can land you in trouble
3) Timing- Know when to talk to your Boss and when to give feedback. Timing is crucial. If your Boss is in a bad mood or in a no mood to talk, postpone your discussion
4) Preparedness- Not only you but your boss should be free and prepared for an open discussion. You know your Boss best and you would definately know when he would be available for discussion.
5) Are You Sure- Last but the most important point that you should ask yourself is – Are You Sure that your boss is wrong or he needs the feedback? Maybe he can see the big picture which you cannot see. In such scenario the step 2 above would help you to clarify your doubts. On your end, maybe thinking twice and not being impulsive may avoid the situation at all.
There are ways to give feedback to your Boss and the most impressive way is always a win-win situation for both you and your Boss. The problem with most of the people is that by feedback they look for ways to make their Boss feel bad about him. This is particularly bad strategy to apply on any human being leave apart your boss. Whenever you want to give feedback to you Boss make sure that it is for his upliftment and helping him and not for thrashing him. Yes, this is an art and you need to learn at any cost. Be smart about it and your career can go places. Good Luck !!!!