Feedback is crucial in the online workplace. You need to know how well you’re doing and how to improve on your weak areas, if necessary.
And yes, it might be daunting to receive feedback from your boss. But being receptive to it enables career growth. That’s why you should learn to receive feedback effectively.
But what if it’s the other way around? What if you have to give feedback to your boss?
Should You Give Feedback to Your Boss?
We all make mistakes and your boss probably has some areas of improvement to work on as well. Thus, they also need feedback to get better.
And if the feedback leads to better productivity for you and your team, why should you withhold it, right?
But it’s quite tricky, though, because, well, s/he is your boss.
Worry not. Here are 5 tips on how to give feedback to your boss.
Give Feedback at an Appropriate Time
First of all, determine an appropriate time to give feedback. You might be tempted to give your observations the moment they enter your mind, but they might not be taken lightly if the timing is not right.
Avoid giving your feedback during meetings with a client or your team, for instance.
Imagine your boss closing a deal, and then s/he’s interrupted by your feedback. Or maybe your team is brainstorming for a marketing campaign – and then you give feedback on attendance policies.
Remember, there’s a time and place for your feedback.
Examples are performance reviews. Most companies have performance reviews to get feedback for their management team.
Another is during a private or face-to-face meeting. But if the purpose of the meeting isn’t for providing feedback, don’t just blurt it out to your boss during the session.
For example, let’s say you have a one-on-one meeting to prepare for a client pitch. Even if you’re the only people in the room at that time, wait until after the meeting to give your feedback. (Or perhaps give it beforehand.)
Ask If S/he Would Like to Receive Feedback
During performance reviews, it’s easier to give your feedback because they’re asking you for it.
But what if they aren’t? Not everyone wants unsolicited feedback.
So, try to ask your boss if s/he likes to receive feedback.
It can be as simple as “Is it alright if I give feedback on some aspects of the project?” or maybe, “I have insights on certain things in our workplace, would it help if I give this feedback to you?”
Just make sure to have the best intentions and be polite when you ask the question.
Focus on the Task or Specific Behavior
When giving feedback to someone, there’s a high tendency to be defensive. After all, feedback can sound like criticism. And there’s a chance that a wall will go up between you if you target their personality, intelligence, or other traits.
Instead, it’s best to focus on tasks or specific behaviors and how it affects you, the team, or the project.
No one wants to be told how to do things. When giving your feedback, avoid saying how you would’ve done things if you were the boss. Don’t presume that you know your boss’ situation.
Instead, make it data-driven.
For example, you can say “based on the AB testing, writing the ad in their native language is less effective than the ones written in English. It might be better to boost the posts in English instead.”
When you show data, it’s based on the objective truth. It’s now your boss’s call if they want to act on it or not.
Mention Something Positive
Feedback might be harder to receive and accept if it’s all negative. If possible, temper your negative feedback with a compliment. You can even use the sandwich method.
With this approach, you can lessen its blow and your boss might be more receptive to accepting and working on it.
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And with the tips above, you can deliver feedback via your virtual workplace and even provide such to your boss, if necessary. Cheers!