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Can you give negative feedback to your boss?

The chain of command is perhaps one of the first attributes that come to be associated with the much dreaded corporate environment. All of us are guided or instructed at work by corporate managers who have the required tools, expertise and experience to do their job (read guiding us). However, there are times when even bosses may end up looking for feedback from employees just as employees would expect from their bosses. Learning how to give feedback at office is definitely a career booster.

Why Upward Flow of Feedback is Desired

However, giving feedback to your employer turns out to be a scary proposition quite simply because of the fact that your boss – seemingly – would only appreciate what he wants to hear from you. It’s a tad difficult for you to offer your honest opinion because of the position (of power) enjoyed by your boss. As many trade gurus suggest that it’s not your job to tell your bosses what they should do. Instead you should try to find out what they do the best and align your ways of working accordingly and bolster your own performance.

However, it is also true that upward management is at times desirable for the well-being of the business itself. No employee or trainee is actually asked to pour their feedback in incessantly – that’s not appreciated. However, the job of your managers is to help you complete your task successfully. The occasional exchange of views (regarding work) only shores up the collaborative environment—thereby fostering a more productive ambience.

Should you be scared of giving negative feedback?

So, as an employee if you are asked to give your feedback don’t be flabbergasted since you have a few suggestions to offer. Acquaint yourself with the correct ways of communicating your suggestions so that you don’t up insulting your boss unwittingly.

Make sure you are not correcting your manager in front of everyone else. That goes true even for managers who are making an effort to correct their employees. Even if you don’t have any other option but to offer your feedback along with every one else you would definitely want to “mould” your expression to make it sound more polite. For instance, instead of saying “What if it was done this way..” say “I really think it would have helped if …”.

It is also very important to understand and acknowledge the fact that there are certain attributes of the company that your boss doesn’t have control over. It would help if you put forward these suggestions after acquainting yourself with these constraints are.

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