How to give feedback to your manager?

Employees are not always forthcoming in giving feedback to their managers for fear of repercussions.

However, feedback is a 2-way street and the more honest team members are in giving the feedback to their managers, the more honest the feedback they will receive from their managers.

Some tips that can help the team members in giving feedback to their managers:

  1. Share Intent - Team members should always share the intent before giving any feedback. For example "I thought this might help you in better allocating tasks...."
  2. Be honest - Honesty is the bedrock for effective crucial conversations. For example, you may start the conversation by saying "I honestly thought you should give more freedom to xxx and not get into details..."
  3. Acknowledge you could be wrong - Any feedback will be received in the right spirit if it the giver acknowledges that such feedback is his or her opinion and they could be wrong.
  4. Clarify assumptions - It is always a best practice to state any assumptions you made for giving the feedback. In the absence of data or examples to back your feedback, it is merely a perception and it is difficult for the receiver of feedback to take any improvement actions based on perceptions.
  5. Help you to help me - There is a self-interest involved for team members in giving feedback to their managers. For example, if the team feels their manager is micro-managing, by giving an honest feedback to their manager, the team members would be helping themselves.
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