How to Give Great Feedback to Your Boss
Updated: Nov 3
If your boss is reluctant to give feedback—to you and to others—there may not be a ready opportunity to offer feedback naturally during the discussion.
Even if your boss is a feedback avoider… You can still successfully recommend changes that will help both of you. If your boss rarely provides feedback, that is exactly where you can start. Ask for more feedback! This will have several benefits:
You will receive valuable information (if your boss obliges).
Your boss will receive valuable information from you.
You will have started an open feedback conversation.
Bosses love 360 Bosses want to know how you perceive them. For instance, if your company happens to use 360 feedback, then you know your boss is fascinated with every line of feedback they receive. Bosses are usually interested in entering such a relationship with you, as long as you can maintain their trust.
Always start with a shared goal near & dear to their heart So the time is right; your boss has asked for feedback or at least seems to be welcoming it from you.
Start by referring to goals. Show energy about one or more of the goals you and your boss share, and spend time discussing your perspective of the goal. Give details about why you personally think the goal is important and reflect on their perspective as well. Example: “We need to be rated the #1 team in the company.”
Then begin threading your ideas and needs into the conversation. How does your biggest gripe relate to a goal your boss wants to achieve? Some examples.
Your boss wants to improve customer feedback ratings and you think the whole team should handle calls differently.
Your boss wants to reduce costs by lowering the number of team member visits to customers. You think more of the right visits will raise revenue as well.
Share your insight & suggest the change Diagnose the root cause of the problem quickly and be ready to discuss the boss’s ideas on this as well. Then recommend a solution.
“It would be great if you could spend some time training the people who are being delayed with this problem. I’d suggest your training team members for 30 minutes every morning for a while.”
Offer to support your boss in making the change “I can meet with you and the team every day next week and get people ready to learn some new approaches beforehand. I know your presence will motivate people!”
You can be excited that you are helping your boss and the company while developing a bigger voice and choice in seeing good things happen.
Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!