The Clever Little Secret to Managing Your Manager

The Clever Little Secret to Managing Your Manager

Source: This article was originally published on CNBC.

Managing up is one of the hardest things to do, but also one of the most beneficial. How to give feedback without blowback.

A bad boss can have a huge impact on your happiness and productivity at work — so much so that you may be tempted to voice your dissatisfaction. But regardless of how eager you are to address the issue, you’ll want to think twice before offering your critiques. Even if your boss gives you an opening, like asking, “Do you have any feedback for me?” you’ll want to refrain from sharing your totally honest opinion.

Giving your boss negative feedback almost always backfires. My advice — don’t even try it. It’s too hard to finesse a tough message like ‘You micromanage me.’” Instead, you should use this simple hack to “manage up.”

If your boss asks for feedback, instead of criticism, offer praise — high praise.

Rather than focusing on the problematic aspects of your boss’s behavior, you’ll want to point out an instance where their actions didn’t drive you crazy. For example, if your boss tends to be vague about details when giving assignments, thank them for the one time they did provide clear expectations.

Effuse about how much you appreciated that clarity and how it helped you do your job better. Go overboard with gratitude for the transparent communication on that occasion.

This approach is clever without being dishonest. Let’s just call it ‘shrewd’. Learning how to manage your manager isn’t easy, but it can be very beneficial to your career.

This technique is the only one I know that allows you to give feedback without blowback, Give it a try.

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator, and public speaker. Through its online MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute transforms the lives of its students by providing them with the tools to become better leaders, build great teams, and help their organizations win.

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