How to Stand Up When You Have a Problem With Your Boss

When you have a problem with your boss approach it methodically if you want to get your desired outcomes in the workplace.  Photo Credit

When you have a problem with your boss approach it methodically if you want to get your desired outcomes in the workplace. Photo Credit

We all have problems with our boss from time to time.  Even if you have a great relationship, you probably hesitate to approach your boss about "some" problems and issues. You know, those situations in which you need to stand up for yourself, challenge the status quo, balance an inequity, right a wrong, but mostly stand up for yourself. Giving feedback can be challenging, but don't wait until you're ready for the damn exit interview before you do it. Or, if you agonize for weeks before you summons the courage, it's time to change up that little routine.  While it's not a savvy career move to go to the boss constantly, when you do, don't go at it all haphazard with no reflection or preparation and sh*t.  How can you voice concerns at work and be constructive? Your Office Mom suggests that you follow these three steps to increase the likelihood of getting the outcome you want the next time you do.

1.  Weigh the pros and cons

Before you approach your manager, consider the benefits of resolving the issue versus letting it slide. How will you benefit by approaching your boss about the problem? What are your expected outcomes? Is this a non-negotiable, or is there a possible win for you? What will happen if you don’t approach him or her? Do the benefits tip the scale in your favor?

2.  Plan your approach

Take the time to assess the problem from your perspective. What might improve the situation? Yes, there is a problem, but you want to propose a solution instead of merely focusing on the problem. Look at the situation from your boss’ viewpoint. Anticipate reactions and responses.  Expect the unexpected. After careful consideration you can plan how you want to approach it.

3.  Prepare talking points

Difficult conversations require preparation and practice. Draft some key talking points. Have a strong opening and closing statement.  By stating your viewpoint with clarity from the beginning you have a strong position and control the direction of the conversation. And, during the discussion, don't hesitate to refer to your notes to stay focused. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's preferable to stumbling over your words or forgetting important points you wanted to make. Have strong closing statements to end strong, stay professional and suggest next steps. Now it's time ask for a meeting with your boss, or bring it up in your next 1:1.

Did I forget anything? Please share your tips!