How to Navigate a Difficult Convo With Your Boss

Power dynamics are real. However good your relationship with your boss might be, the inherent power balance weighs heavily when you need to bring up an issue or challenge a decision.

“Approaching someone above you in the professional hierarchy requires a delicate balance and a deep understanding of both the person and the situation,” writes Benjamin Laker in a recent article in MIT Sloan Management Review.

In his article, Laker, a professor of leadership at the University of Reading’s Henley Business School, offers nine tips for keeping those conversations both constructive and helpful.

One suggestion is mastering the art of “I” statements. For example, you might be tempted to say, “You’ve overlooked this crucial aspect.” But that accusatory approach is likely to put your boss on the defensive and put an end to meaningful conversation. To avoid that, you might say, “I feel this particular aspect could benefit from further attention.”

“This approach ensures that the focus remains on the issue at hand and not on personal biases or confrontations,” Laker writes.

Other tips include understanding the importance of timing, prioritizing private discussions and aligning with like-minded peers, “but tactfully.”

To learn more, read the full article here.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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