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Bad bosses can be a factor for employees who decide to leave.
However, if you’re considering leaving your job because of your manager, it could be that your boss is a diamond in the rough: someone who just needs some input on how to do a better job.
Consider the purpose of giving your boss feedback.
Is it feedback on their performance or a project? If the feedback is about them, you have to be very cautious in how you're sharing your thoughts.
Instead of speaking off the cuff, jot down some ideas you want to chat about. Ensure the conversation is happening face to face in some way.
Body language and facial expressions add context that can't be conveyed over the phone. You'll be able to see visual cues and steer the direction of the conversation in an appropriate way.
Ask permission to share your thoughts. “I know you have a lot on your plate. I’ve noticed [this issue]. Can I share some thoughts on that?” Then state data and what you've seen happening.
Start with something small to see if they're open to receiving feedback or if they shut it down.
Approach the conversation honestly and respectfully. Be as direct as you can and ensure a professional tone. For example, "I've been having this issue. What do you think about approaching it from this direction?"
Communicate how the change could positively impact your workflow. "I think I could be more efficient if X, Y, and Z happened."
Once you provide your feedback, ask for theirs to ensure that it doesn't seem like you're attacking them. End the conversation by asking how you can help.
Feedback can feel awkward when you're giving it to your boss. But, if you don't take the risk, your situation will remain the same or could worsen.
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