How to Talk Shop with Your Boss: Feedback for Manager Examples
Sometimes it can be challenging to decide the best way to speak with a boss, especially if you have one of those Type A personality bosses. We provide these resources for feedback for managers with examples. While it might be stressful to speak to your boss, it is important to figure out a way to do it.
Your input can give them room to improve, but you might worry that the power dynamics of your work environment and relationship can make a delicate situation seem impossible to navigate well.
There are all sorts of tales of how feedback can go wrong. This can make even the best employee feel wary about how to step up and speak to a manager on their own. Feedback for manager examples can make this process a bit easier.
Problem-solving and communication skills are useful to apply with feedback for managers. You also need to consider the right place and time to bring up the topic. Using a one-on-one meeting when remote, or being in person if not, and focusing on solutions will give you the resources you need to offer the best feedback.
What to Avoid When Giving Feedback to Managers
Let’s look at an example of an employee named Basil. During a training session, Basil had an issue while working as an airline attendant at one of the world’s largest airlines. The manager and instructor were speaking with Basil and others in training about some of the strict policies that they would need to follow at all times.
Airlines have very stringent processes, policies, and guidelines, but sometimes they can also be very confusing. During training, Basil’s instructor was giving the group information about one of these policies, which was badly constructed. Basil was annoyed by this, so he raised his hand, asked why the policy was in place, and even laughed a bit at how ridiculous it seemed. In his mind, his peers would likely feel the exact same way.
However, the instructor didn’t take Basil’s behavior well, and he was sent to speak with a higher-up. At this point, Basil was taken to task for constantly questioning these policies and not acting as part of the team.
This kind of story can be hard to read, but it’s something to think about. What do you think the main problem is in the scenario above? It isn’t necessarily that Basil questioned something that the instructor said. It also isn’t that Basil felt a policy was a bit ludicrous.
The main issue is that Basil brought up his feedback in public. This made it less likely that his instructor would want to talk about the topic. It didn’t help anything that the question managed to offend the person Basil was speaking with.
Reasons to Give Feedback to Your Boss
Considering the scenario above, Basil could have been more delicate and brought up his thoughts somewhere private, and things would likely have gone differently. Having feedback for manager examples also could have helped guide the conversation so it would be more positive.
After this situation occurred, Basil realized that the instructor would have been more comfortable in a one-on-one conversation instead of having these things brought up in the middle of training.
This is something important to think about. Whether a peer or a manager, most people appreciate 360-degree feedback. However, it can also have a tremendous effect on the company culture and employee engagement.
A study on LinkedIn indicates that more than 90% of people would stay in a position longer if regular constructive criticism were provided to help them grow. A second study shows that about two-thirds of workers are seeking out more feedback.
Before providing your thoughts, consider using feedback for manager examples. They can help you decide what to say, how to best say it, and whether the person you’re talking to will be receptive to the feedback. If the feedback is negative or pushed forward by frustration, consider why that is.
Take into account the best ways to provide feedback, both in terms of how the person will deal with it and the methods that your company might have in place for this kind of conversation.
When to Give Feedback to Superiors
The place and time you give feedback is essential to consider so you avoid the issues Basil had. In addition, tone and context can be misconstrued depending on how you communicate. In-person conversations are the best option but may not always be feasible. If not, use the phone instead of texting or sending messages.
Where are some places not to use feedback for manager examples? There are a few, and we’ll outline them below.
- During any team or company-wide meeting
- When the manager is trying to explain something new to you and the rest of the team
- When you are meeting with external stakeholders or clients
On the other hand, there are several places where it’s entirely appropriate to offer feedback. Consider the following options:
- During a one-on-one meeting
- At a check-in session, either after or before a meeting
- At a performance review
Tips for Providing Feedback to a Manager
Having feedback for manager examples can help you have a great conversation, but there are other tips to make use of. These will ensure that your tone is right and your thoughts land and make an impact.
- Have the conversation in person.
- Watch your tone to ensure it’s neutral and calm.
- Address situations as soon as you can.
- Focus on work and don’t get personal.
- Provide feedback on one thing at a time unless issues are connected.
- Stay in a solutions-oriented headspace.
- Provide some positive feedback to temper the negative feedback.
Feedback for Manager Examples to Use
There are all sorts of topics that you might need to bring up as you speak with a manager. Some of the most common are managing expectations, project management, communication and miscommunication, and workload. Below is feedback for manager examples to get you started when having these conversations.
Perhaps you have a great idea about how you want to handle a project. However, you realize that your own ideas are completely different from those of your manager. You want to be sure you align your thoughts with theirs to be sure that neither side ends up unhappy with the results.
Consider these feedback for manager examples to get you started:
- Can we go over (project) again?
- What would success look like for (project)? I want to be sure I have an understanding of your desires for (project).
- I think you want me to do (action), but I was under the impression that I should do (action) instead. Can you clarify that for me?
Nothing can be more frightening than being involved with a major project and feeling as if you may not be doing things right. When you aren’t sure how to structure a project or are feeling overwhelmed, reach out for assistance.
These feedback for manager examples can help with project management woes:
- I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by (project). Do you know any best practices for managing it that I could try out?
- I’m experiencing some trouble with (project). Can you help me walk through this program?
- This project is larger than I expected. How did you think it should be structured?
Of course, communication is important. However, it’s common for it to fall by the wayside in some situations. If you need additional information, don’t make assumptions. Instead, ask the boss for context or information to better understand the full picture.
Use the feedback for manager examples below to help gain clarity:
- I was surprised to hear the way you talked about (topic). Could we speak about that?
- Can we talk about (topic) in more detail? I want to ensure we’re on the same wavelength.
Managing a workload can be a challenge and even lead to burnout. It can be frightening to realize you’re overwhelmed or approaching it. However, it’s best for the company, the boss, and yourself to have your limits on display before things get worse. Discussing possible adjustments or solutions can make you feel more prepared while letting the manager know you’ve thought through the problem.
Try out the feedback for manager examples here to talk about workload issues:
- It turns out this project has more working parts than I thought. Do you have thoughts about how to structure it?
- I can take on this new task, but only if I can push back the deadline for (project).
- With how time-sensitive (project) is, I can’t take on this other (task). Can you assist me with prioritizing?
Using feedback for manager examples, you can ensure you deliver useful information to your boss. While it can be stressful to provide feedback to a superior, it’s often needed. Giving them important information offers benefits to you both. Not only will the manager be able to improve at their job, but you’ll also be able to better meet their needs as an employee. Keeping this in mind can ensure your feedback doesn’t come off the wrong way.
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