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How to Give Your Boss Feedback

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When you work closely with your manager, you’re likely to observe behaviors that they could improve on — whether it’s their presentation skills or the clarity of their writing. Should you share your feedback with them? First, consider whether they’d be open to it. Ask yourself: How do they take feedback from their peers or their boss? Are they typically generous about giving it themselves? If you determine that sharing your input is the right course of action, be careful about your timing. Don’t just do it when it’s convenient for you. Pay attention to the stress that your boss might be under and wait for a time when they’re more likely to be receptive. Try framing the feedback as a way to help them. For example, if they wrote a report that’s a mess, you could say, “I’d love to help you streamline the monthly report. It has a ton of useful information, but at 10 pages, I’m worried we might lose people. Would you like me to help shorten it to five pages?” Input like this will require extra work on your part, but it will make your boss — and you — look good. Lastly, be sure to give your boss positive feedback too. Point out the specific things they’re doing well. Many managers don’t get this sort of input and it can help build trust between you.

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