How to Talk to Your Boss… Without Getting Fired!


Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin  

There are times when we feel upset at work, and we would want to let our boss know how we feel.

Sometimes, we have a very good idea to help improve the company, but it is the opposite strategy that the boss would want to implement. At times we would want to open up to our superior, without making it look like we are contradicting his opinions.

Here are a few suggestions on how to talk to your boss without being too confrontational:

Be polite. Always give respect, do not be overly familiar, and avoid sarcasm or offensive remarks.

Be professional. Present yourself in proper business attire, and look at him in the eye when talking.

Don’t oppose, just suggest. You may have a better idea, but disagreeing with your boss might hurt his or her pride. Make him or her feel important.

Be direct to the point. Do not waste his or her precious time.

Be ready to listen. When speaking with your boss, be attentive, make eye contact, and show that you are interested.

Timing is essential! If you would want to ask for a raise, for example, make sure your company can afford it. Never ask for a pay increase just after the company has announced layoffs.

Do not bypass. Observe the proper chain of command. You can hardly do a worse thing to damage your relationship with your boss than to talk to his or her own boss about your ideas.

Be prepared to handle a negative response. Unfortunately, even with your best effort there are times when your boss cannot grant your wishes. Plan to end the meeting on a positive note; there is always a next time!

Show your appreciation. Do not forget to thank him or her for giving you his or her time to let you air your views.

Remember also that you just do not talk to your boss when you are asking for something. Be fair, if errors occur at work be ready to admit your fault.

Approach your superior right away and own up to your mistake. Take full responsibility and present suggestions on how to rectify your mistake.

It may be difficult to approach your boss, but always remember that open communication and a proactive approach can help make discussions easier and, eventually, more successful.

(All rights reserved. Copyright by Manila Bulletin and Ruben P. Anlacan, Jr. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)


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