When it comes to the world of business, we’ve seen the impact that leadership from the middle of an organization has. Yet, one of your most important professional relationships is with your boss at the top. On today’s CBT Now, your host Shyann Malone sits down with Scott Mautz, the founder of Profound Performance, to discuss the two key difficulties employees may face: disagreements and giving your boss feedback, and how to navigate what to say and when?
Mautz explains that giving your boss feedback is one of the most heart-wrenching things for any employee. But if you remember these three essential steps, you’ll be ready to tackle any problematic conversation that may arise in any position of your career:
- Step one is to: confirm that your boss is open to feedback. This can be discovered by simply asking them if they are or not.
- Next, during your feedback: Share your observations, not your presumptions. When a boss feels their position of power is in question, they tend to be dismissive, and coming to solutions to the feedback becomes pointless. Instead, Mautz asserts, “Research shows bosses struggle with employee feedback, but when you share your observations, it boils down to the facts and defuses the situation.”
- Finally, S.H.R.E.D it. This is a simple acronym to remember to be specific, honest, respectful, empathetic, and direct.
Furthermore, feeling heard on both ends is essential when sitting down for a conversation. Often with discussions between employees and bosses, leaders tend to offer scripted messages instead of utilizing the most crucial technique: stepping back from a position of authority to actively listen and validate.
According to Mautz, “As a higher-up, you want to enter the conversation as an ally instead of a critic.” This leads to the concept of how employees can disagree with their bosses. Mautz suggest,
- Start with respectful candor. Even if you don’t respect the person, acknowledge that you appreciate the position and don’t hesitate to recognize how you agree with the difficulties that come with the job but offer possible alternatives to approach the topic of discussion.
- Next, discuss the intent before the content. You can mutually agree with the company’s goal. Still, mentioning the conversation’s purpose and why you brought it to their attention would be best before offering ways to improve the content.
- Avoid judgment words. Muatz says, “Never say you.” Disagreements should offer your perspective, not be a personal attack on the boss.”
Mautz continues, “You don’t have to be a CEO to be a leader; set aside societal’ definition of a middle manager.” Mautz says his portrayal of a middle manager contains the following:
“Anybody who has a boss and is a boss or aspires to become one and has to lead in all directions to do their job.” He adds, “The middle manager position is nothing to be ashamed of. I think it’s one of the hardest jobs in management.”