In Hong Kong a majority of people feel comfortable giving feedback to their supervisors, according to a recent poll conducted by Monster. 32% of respondents said they felt very comfortable giving feedback, while 52% were either comfortable or somewhat comfortable voicing their opinions.
However, for feedback to result in meaningful changes it must be delivered the right way – and so often that’s where people fall short. Here are the top mistakes many of us make:
Waiting around for the right moment – So often, people wait to reach their breaking point before they bring up an issue. We get that sweeping things under the rug is way easier than having an awkward conversation, but running away isn’t going to magically fix your problems, especially if it’s coming the way of your performance or is making you fundamentally unhappy.
Besides, your boss or colleague may not even remember something that happened several months ago. Worse, if it’s a repetitive behaviour that’s annoying you – it is only fair let the person know, so they can work on rectifying it.
You’re giving too much feedback – Running to your boss and complaining about every little thing will do more harm than good. While it is understandable that you’d be upset if someone else caused the mess you’re cleaning up – throwing a fit over every bit isn’t going to solve the problem. By handling it with grace and without complaints, you’re more likely to be seen as a leader and get noticed during promotion time.
Don’t be vague – If there’s a legit issue, it’s important to be straightforward and direct with your grievances, even at the cost of upsetting your boss. By withholding key information and beating around the bush you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your boss, and it won’t result in any meaningful changes. Of course, be kind and tactful, but make sure your message is crystal clear.
You’re not offering a solution – Once you deliver the key message, veer the conversation towards working out a solution. For example, if your boss keeps increasing your workload, you could suggest extending deadlines or delegating the work.
Whatever the problem is, it is important to work with your boss or colleague to develop a long-term plan to address the issue. If all else fails, and you come to the realization that your boss is just too demanding, then consider these tips to deal with him/her.