No one likes to put themselves at risk of losing their job. Yet, there are times when you, the employee, must confront your boss. The trick is not coming off looking like a combative and insubordinate know-it-all.
You also want to protect your relationships for your career’s sake, too. We explain the times when confronting the boss is a must. We also explain some ways to handle it, wisely.
1. When the boss is dangerously wrong and you know it
In today’s business climate, the wrong social media post or actions of a boss can damage a company’s reputation for years. This is a time when it is important to confront a boss. You are positive he/she is about to do something that will impact everyone’s job and the success of the company. For example, expressing an opinion towards a loyal customer in the community that is both public and discriminatory.
How does someone know who is right or wrong?
Easy. Try the following:
- Get the facts.
- Investigate both sides of the story before confronting the boss.
- Avoid being cocky or self-righteous.
- Ask yourself if your argument is “emotional” or “logical”. Logical arguments are tough to disagree with.
It is ok to help your boss see another perspective, as long as you remain supportive and cooperative. Do not become argumentative. Say things like, “Let me show you why I am thinking this way.”
Your argument has got to involve numbers and logic in order to show the true damage that can be done by the boss’ actions.
2. When your workload is too much to handle
No one likes to feel like a quitter or whiner. However, if things get to be a little too much you have to keep your boss aware of your dilemma. After all, if you cannot achieve goals, the boss needs to know.
To avoid sounding like someone just having a bad day, try key phrases to open up a dialogue with your boss like these:
- “My current workload is demanding so much attention, I may not be able to [insert dilemma]”
- “Would you help me prioritize my tasks?”
Above all, remind yourself you are not complaining. You are trying to achieve a form of balance that is better for the company.
3. When your boss is dragging his/her feet and you need resources
The boss gave you a deadline, but then at some point stopped providing the resources required to achieve it. The boss believes in taking the initiative and out-of-the-box thinking, but deciding to try something new (or against company policy) will not make the boss happy. You need your boss on this one.
The situation is delicate and you obviously do not want to sound like the “boss of your boss”. You do, after all, have to think about who is really in charge. Right? Try these statements to ease the tension when you are a step away from saying, “Hey! Boss! A little help here, please?!”
- “I realize you are busy. Do you have a moment to [insert]?”
- “Do you think I can complete the project by this date without [insert]?”
Confronting your boss is never an easy thing to do, especially if you know your boss will not take it well. Trying the phrases and ideas mentioned above should assist you in reducing tension and protecting your relationship with your boss.