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How To Give Negative Feedback To Your Boss

It’s happened again.  

They’ve done something that is not right.  

They’ve put themselves in a position that makes you feel bad. 

Yes, I’m talking about your boss. 

You want to help because you care about them and the organization. 

But they continue to make mistakes. 

And you’re struggling to give feedback. 

But, the same way you see these mistakes, so does everyone else. 

The worst people to see those mistakes are frontline team members who are expecting the CEO to have it all together. 

They’re expecting the leader of the organization to be able to add value and be the pillar of leadership that we all expect from the top. 

You’ve got to find a way to give them positive feedback. 

If you don’t, it’ll decrease the confidence of the frontline workers. 

The morale of the organization will go down. 

And this will reflect on you as well. 

You may be afraid to approach your boss because they don’t take feedback well or like criticism at all. 

Here are a couple of things to think about before approaching your CEO with feedback. 

1. Talk about positives. 

Talk about the positives first. 

If your CEO has done something good, no matter how small, let them know. 

Every executive wants validation. 

Thay want to know that the decisions that they’re making are the right decisions.  

If you never give them feedback, they’re going to question whether they made the right decision or not. 

2. Say why something should be changed. 

If your leader is doing something wrong, you need to be able to convey to them how this is not helpful to the team and not helpful to the organization. 

Don’t say it in a negative way. 

You can say, “Hey, you might want to change how you communicate with people.” 

Or, “You might want to add this word to your speech.” 

Give them advice of what they need to add or change, but do it in a positive way. 

Share this information with them directly and succinctly.  

Don’t put them on blast in front of everybody in a meeting. 

Do it in your one-on-one check in meeting. 

And if you don’t have a check-in with them, then you need to ask for one. 

You should be talking to your leader on a regular basis about what’s going on with you so you can learn what’s going on with them.  

If you have a leader that is an egomaniac and thinks they know it all, then it won’t matter if you give them feedback or not. 

They’re not going to listen to you. 

This is when you probably should leave the organization. 

But if you’re in an organization with a leader who does listen and wants to be a better leader, then they’ll be open to your feedback. 

I hope this is helpful to you because it’s critical that you give your boss feedback when they’re not doing things right.  

If you don’t have the confidence in yourself that you can give that feedback, drop me a line at LinkedIn and connect with me there. 

Anton

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