Delivering negative feedback is never pleasant, much less delivering it upwards. But no one is perfect and your bosses are no exception.
While pointing out the mistakes of your boss can be awkward, playing any criticism down will benefit no one. After all, you are spending a majority of your time at work, and getting along with everyone is key to achieving common professional goals.
Fortunately, according to Monster Singapore’s latest poll results, close to 80% of Singaporeans are comfortable with doing just that. On the other hand, more than 20% of them wouldn’t even dream about giving upward feedback to their managers.
While it’s great to know that Singaporeans are vocal, delivering the message professionally is key to effectively solving the problem. While doing so, be sure you’re not making the following mistakes:
Delivering your feedback over the wrong medium Speaking face-to-face with your boss can seem difficult, and the idea of discussing the matter over text can be tempting, but messages can often get lost in transmission. The tonality of your messages may not be effectively conveyed, leading to a potential misunderstanding.
What you’re bringing up may be serious, but you can always set the tone for the discussion - from choosing the right location to using the appropriate body language. If you walk into the discussion tense and uneasy, then that’s likely going to be how the discussion will pan out.
Getting too personalWhile it’s acceptable to discuss certain personal characteristics, it shouldn’t be the main focus of your discussion. Keep it professional and share constructive feedback that is related to work.
Do the actions of your boss affect your productivity or morale at work? Do you dread seeing your boss, or even coming into work? If so, a healthy discussion is definitely appropriate.
Not Giving ExamplesYour bosses are as busy as you are, and it’s not uncommon that they will forget that particular instance that may have upset you. Beyond telling your bosses what’s upset you, back your claims up with specific examples.
Positive or negative, these examples will give your claims some ground and make you appear professional. Do also explain why you think it’s important to raise the matter, including how this can aid to you or your team’s workflow.
Not Offering SolutionsWhile highlighting the issue at hand, it’s also important to not just dwell on what’s negative. With every negative point you raise in your discussion, you should bridge it back to a solution. This way, you’ll appear to have given the matter some thought.
Do also offer room for your boss to explain him/herself. It will help you to gain an understanding of his/her actions and shows that the communication goes both ways. While you’re raising an issue, you’re also open to hearing his side of the story.
Between now and getting the chance to speak to your boss, here are 5 ways to navigate the stressful parts of your job.
How comfortable do you feel giving upward feedback to your manager?9% - Somewhat comfortable50% - Comfortable20% - Very comfortable21% - I wouldn’t think of it