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We’ve all been there: you’re saying “I hate my boss” because you’re pretty sure they’re fucking shit up. But no one wants to say anything because, well, they’re the boss. But as the situation progresses, giving feedback to your boss seems more and more like the right thing to do. How do you tell your boss they’re wrong without jeopardizing your position or sounding like a jerk?

The first step really here should be this: checking over and over that you are sure they are wrong. Giving feedback to your boss is one thing, calling him or her out incorrectly is something totally different. It might sound like a cliche, but you really don’t want to get caught looking like an idiot in this type of situation. That can backfire majorly.

But in the end, I truly believe this: if your boss is a great boss, they will welcome performance feedback, and they will listen to you.

How to give feedback to your boss

If your boss is good at being the boss, they will take your feedback and actually listen to what you have to say. Period. An enormous part of being the boss is about learning to be a better listener than speaker. You help the team out by being aware of what is going on at all times. What does that take? Listening.

The key to performance feedback is respectfully pointing out things you disagree with. If you go down that route, it’s a win win situation. Think about it: if you give that information to the boss, and the boss agrees with you, you’ve won points and hopefully the situation will be dealt with. If they don’t, and they completely disrespect your feedback, then now you know what kind of person you’re working for.

Signs of a bad boss

So, with those two points about talking to your boss in consideration, to me there is no risk in giving feedback to your boss. As long as you keep your cool and are diplomatic about the situation, the two outcomes we outlined above can only end well.

If you are putting your future into the leadership of an individual, don’t you want that person to be respectful of feedback? Or learning from their mistakes? This could be the question that determines if you are in the right place.

So if you have something to say, don’t hold back. Be respectful and approach it from calm ground. But don’t stick around if they won’t take you seriously. That’s not worth your time.