• Overcome the fear of providing negative feedback to your boss
  • Be prepared and get your thoughts organized ahead of time
  • Sharing honest feedback benefits everyone over the long run
Your boss just doesn’t seem to realize it. However, everyone else in the room is squirming in their seats or subtly shaking their heads at what’s happening right in front of them. It’s the proverbial train wreck.

Your boss is out of his realm here. He’s a like a fucking clueless executive that is embarrassing himself by trying to fake his way through it all. And what’s making it worse is that his delivery is awful with poorly timed and somewhat inappropriate jokes.

This isn’t the first time that you’ve had to endure this shitshow. You’ve been through these cringing episodes more than you’d like to admit and each time, it’s no different. The combination of brazen stupidity and inauthentic confidence just makes you want to puke.

After the fiasco wraps up, the usual brownnosers start kissing your boss’s ass and commending him on a great presentation and how the information was really helpful. It makes you scream inside your head, “Are you fucking kidding me?!”

It’s not like you hate your boss. They’re okay most of the time. However, it’s gotten to the point where you feel like you have to do something about this – partly for their sake but mostly to save you from further embarrassment from your coworkers.

Now, you’ve gotta figure out a way to tactfully provide negative feedback to your boss.

Why Honest Negative Feedback Is Important

Most of the time, critical and negative feedback is usually handed down from the manager to the employee, usually when the employee drops the ball on something. It’s happened to all of us.

We’ve all had and will continue to eat the shit sandwich at work. There’s no avoiding it sometimes, especially during annual performance reviews.

Traditionally, critical feedback has always been a one-way street that goes from the top down. It’s never been a two-way street where staff-level employees can do likewise and give feedback upwards.

And frankly, that’s bullshit.

Feedback needs to happen in both directions so that everybody improves. More specifically in this case, it’s important to provide honest feedback to your manager if you know that it will improve things.

When important advice, recommendations or observations are not shared, things tend to go unchecked. And, if it starts going sideways or in the wrong direction, the damage can spread and things will go from bad to worse. This is why it’s important to address the problem sooner than later.

When your boss continues to screw up, guess who gets to deal with the aftermath?

Yup, the shit rolls downhill to you. It becomes your headache to deal with and it’ll make managing work stress even harder. So, you gotta take action.

The challenge is that giving negative feedback to your boss is totally unorthodox. It kinda feels like it goes against informal rules of engagement and violates office politics. But, you gotta get past this and dish out the hard truth.

How To Give Negative Feedback To Your Boss

If your boss also happens to be your work BFF, then it’s a whole lot easier to share honest feedback. But in most cases, your manager isn’t a BFF, far from it. You have the typical boss-employee relationship and respect the authority and hierarchy of the setup.

Even with this kind of working relationship, you can still share objective and honest feedback without jeopardizing your relationship or killing your chances of promotion. You just gotta be smart about it.

Be Professional

When you’re sharing negative feedback with your boss, you’ve gotta be extra professional in your approach. You can’t come across like the office asshole and just scream at them. This will only get your ass fired fast.

You have to keep your cool and stay calm. Explain your thoughts and advice like a doctor would to a patient. Come at it from an angle of being helpful and concerned.

Meet One On One To Share Feedback

One thing you definitely don’t want to do is to share your feedback with your manager openly among other co-workers. This can easily be seen as you throwing them under the bus in front of everyone. No bueno, dude.

Share your feedback during a private one-on-one meeting. If you normally have one-on-ones on a weekly basis, that’s a perfect time to share your thoughts with them.

Prepare Your Info Ahead Of Time

You have to treat this just like you’re preparing for a presentation or meeting. You need to get in the zone and have all your shit organized, set and ready to go ahead of time. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Otherwise, you’ll be fumbling your thoughts and words which isn’t good for your personal brand.

Write down all your talking points with specifics so that you can easily refer to them during the conversation. This will not only keep you on track, but will also make it less stressful.

Explain Your Thoughts Clearly

Building upon the point above, you must share your views and observations clearly with as little confusion as possible. Being crystal clear will ensure that things won’t get misinterpreted and you’ll avoid going down the rabbit hole of endless other what ifs.

Again, gather your thoughts ahead of time and jot them down. Also, have your work BFF review it too so that they can critique your feedback to make sure that it’s not out of line and is staying professional.

Provide Recommendations And Suggestions

You may have heard the career enhancing tactic of “don’t just bring up problems, bring solutions too.”

This same idea also applies to how you should provide recommendations and suggestions for how to fix or improve things. Don’t be like a seagull manager that just shits on everything and flies off. You need to provide and be part of the solution too.

Ask For Their Input And Insight

Staying true to open two-way dialogue, you should also allow your manager to share their thoughts on your feedback. It could add some deeper insight that you weren’t aware of. The more information that is shared the better things will be.

There could be a valid reason why things are the way they are. After all, your manager is human too and being in shitty middle management, they’ve got a boss to roll up to as well.

Be Grateful For Being Able To Share

Finally, express your thanks for being able to share your feelings and thoughts openly with them without reservations or fear of being outcast. Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the key ways to make office life easier and more enjoyable.

Not many people know that this is a secret trick to triggering happiness at work and making your job awesomer.

Honest Feedback Improves Everyone’s Success

When you’re able to have an honest and open conversation with your boss about something they’re doing wrong or something that’s unusual or unacceptable, it will improve so many things, particularly your workload.

It can be scary as fuck to openly give negative feedback to your boss. But, when things are starting to go off the rails more often, you gotta take action before shit hits the fan. And the sooner you can dish out bad news, the better it will be for you and your manager.

So, get your thoughts in order, prepare your plan and share your valuable insight and feedback. They will appreciate it.

Feel Better,

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