How to Give Feedback to Your Manager Without Getting Fired

Learn how to give feedback to your manager with confidence and get the results you want.

Tue Jul 25, 2023

Give feedback to your manager with confidence and get results.


 Have you ever felt like telling your boss what you really think of them? Maybe you have some constructive criticism that could help them improve their leadership skills, or maybe you just want to vent your frustration about their micromanagement, lack of communication, or unrealistic expectations. Whatever the case, giving feedback to your manager can be a tricky and risky business. You don't want to come across as rude, disrespectful, or insubordinate, but you also don't want to keep silent and let your resentment build up. So how do you give feedback to your manager without getting fired? 

  Here are some tips to help you out

1. Choose the right time and place: Don't ambush your boss with feedback when they are busy, stressed, or in a bad mood. Instead, ask them if they have some time to talk and find a private and comfortable place where you can have a candid conversation. Avoid giving feedback in front of other people, as this can make your boss feel embarrassed or defensive. 

 2. Be specific and factual. Don't just say "You're a terrible manager" or "You don't know what you're doing". That's not feedback, that's an insult. Instead, give concrete examples of what your boss did or said that bothered you, and explain how it affected you and your work. 

For example, "Last week, you changed the deadline for the project without telling me, and I had to work overtime to finish it on time. This made me feel stressed and unappreciated." 

 3. Use "I" statements. Don't blame or accuse your boss of anything. Instead, focus on your own feelings and perspectives. Use "I" statements to express how you feel and what you need from your boss. 

For example, "I feel frustrated when you don't give me clear instructions on what to do. I need more guidance and direction from you." 

 4. Be respectful and positive. Don't be rude, sarcastic, or hostile when giving feedback to your boss. Remember that they are human too, and they may have their own challenges and pressures that you don't know about. Treat them with respect and dignity, and acknowledge their strengths and achievements as well as their weaknesses and mistakes. 

For example, "I appreciate that you are always supportive of my ideas and initiatives. However, I would also like you to give me more feedback on how I can improve my performance." 

5. Listen and collaborate. Don't just dump your feedback on your boss and expect them to agree with everything you say. Be prepared to listen to their side of the story, and try to understand their point of view. Ask them questions and clarify any misunderstandings. Try to find common ground and solutions that work for both of you. For example, "How do you think we can communicate better in the future? What can I do to help you with your workload?"

6. Follow up and follow through. Don't let your feedback be a one-time thing. Make sure you check in with your boss regularly and see how things are going. Give them positive reinforcement when they make changes or improvements based on your feedback. Also, make sure you follow through on any commitments or actions that you agreed on during the feedback session.

For example, "I noticed that you gave me more detailed instructions for the last project, and I really appreciate that. It helped me complete it faster and with more confidence." Giving feedback to your manager can be scary, but it can also be rewarding if done right. 

By following these tips, you can give feedback to your boss without getting fired - or at least without getting fired immediately.

Co-founder, CareerCurators

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