Giving feedback to your boss: The right way

By Binu Paul, SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 31 May 2011, 14:52 Hrs   |    5 Comments
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Giving feedback to your boss: The right way
Bangalore: Employees generally feel that their boss' cabin is a scary territory and they prefer not to break into it. Giving feedback seems to be very simple, but it's never easy to put it into practice when it's to your manager. You might be having a lot of insights to offer to your mangers which can be really useful for them, but is it your place to share it with them? However, it's an undeniable fact that it's hard for the top management or the leaders to get honest feedbacks. Are you risking your job or the relationship with your boss by offering them your inputs? Offering constructive criticism to your manager becomes a necessity at times and there are many factors to be taken care of before you barge into your boss' cabin.

It all depends on the relationship you share with your boss. The ability to make a positive impact on your boss with your inputs depends on the level of trust he has on you. You need to critically analyze, contemplate and foresee its aftereffects. You need to determine if your boss is open to your suggestions before you give them. It's better to refrain from doing so if you feel that your boss is not very receptive to feedbacks from his employees or if you share a cold relationship with your boss. However, if you have an open-minded, straightforward manager with whom you share a good rapport, you owe him good insights and inputs that should help him in his role.

The effect of your feedback largely depends on the timing regardless of it being a positive feedback or a negative criticism. You should bring it up to your boss as early as possible. Make sure you do not mix your emotions with them. Try not to get personal as emotions can affect judgment negatively. Take an objective approach to any problem or situation you want to share with your boss. Also prepare yourself to show that you have already thought about the particular situation you have shared and suggest some possible solutions.

Be it good or bad, you would never want your colleagues to listen, so ensure you talk to your boss in private. It's always good to have a one-to-one conversation so that both of you can put forward your suggestions and queries. Privacy ensures the honesty in talks and it also prevents confidential matters being overheard by others. Be professional in your acts by seeking an appointment to arrange proper and adequate time to speak to your boss.

Be straight forward while putting up your inputs to your boss. Go straight to the matter, be direct. Make sure you know what you are going to suggest. Put your points in a clear manner, present your grievances in straight language, and convey your suggestions clear, plain and lucid to your boss. This will make the meeting short, crisp, and concise.

Lastly, your feedback should be on the happenings in your organization and the possible solutions for the situations, not what you would like to do as the boss. It should be presented as your observations to help your boss be aware of how he is being perceived by others. You should also know your limitations while giving feedbacks to your boss as your understanding of his performance may be partial. Ultimately, the whole point of your feedback should be based on how you can help your boss improve.

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