7 Ways to Give Negative Feedback to the Boss

Some bosses think their weaknesses matter less than the weaknesses of others. But, the opposite is true.

You help the team and enrich your organization, when you help the boss.

care sincerely otherwise don't bring it up

7 ways to give negative feedback to the boss:

#1. Positive relationship before negative feedback.

  1. Show respect. Another person’s weakness is not permission for disrespect.
  2. List three things you can do this week that say you have their best interest at heart.
  3. Make life easier for your boss.
  4. Affirming the boss’s strengths? Beware of coming off as a kiss up. Explain how their strengths help you and others deliver results.

Don’t give negative feedback to the boss, unless you already have a positive relationship.

#2. Work on yourself first and most. Proactively evaluate your performance with your boss. “I’ve been thinking about the last project and wanted to discuss some things that went well and some things I’d like to improve.”

Be open to feedback, if you want to give feedback.

Prepare for future projects. “I’d like exceptional results on our next project. Any suggestions?”

#3. Make performance conversations part of everyday conversations. Bring up performance in the car or hallway.

  1. I really enjoy…
  2. I’d like to get better at….
  3. What do you see me doing that really works?
  4. What behavior is holding me back?

Shift to their performance. What about you? What really works for you? What are you working to improve?

#4. Be kind and direct. Give examples. Explain impact. Talk about your observations, not other’s.

#5. Suggest alternatives. “It would help me if…” Focus on improvement, more than correction.

#6. Respond to push back humbly. An argument with the boss is a losing affair.

#7. Suggest 360 degree evaluations.

Care sincerely, otherwise, don’t bring it up.

Which suggestion seems most important to you?

What suggestions can you add for giving negative feedback to the boss?

**Thanks to Facebook friends who have been sharing their thoughts about this with me. You’ve been very helpful.