Updated: Nov 11, 2020
It is very easy to talk about positive things about anyone, be it in public or in private. On the contrary, it could be a daunting task to express our concerns at work. Where in fact, speaking your mind in the professional world is so important, voicing your concerns is also vital. While some people are open to discuss the concerns, it drains your energy in the majority of the cases. So, what is the best strategy to tackle and solve your concerns to your senior/ boss?
Be Assertive- The first and most important point should be directly related to the context of the problem. In many cases, assertiveness is construed as aggression. But, be assertive in keeping your points and highlight what assertiveness is about. Your tone should match your problem's intensity.
Find out the right time- Understanding the mood of the other person is very important before you express your concerns. Even the tough problems can be sorted out when everyone has the intent to resolve. So, even if your issue is bigger, you have to be patient to think thoroughly about it and see that the addressee has enough time and is in the right frame of mind.
Prioritize the issues- Don’t throw a series of fireballs at the other person. Note down all the issues, prioritize the top 3-4 problems and initiate discussion on these. The others can proceed at a later stage too. Understand the underlying reasons for the issues; the problems sometimes must have propagated from altogether a different scenario that you do not have expected.
Do not use indirect approaches- It is better to talk about the issue with the concerned person. Even though he or she might take it negatively, the effects of using indirect approaches are detrimental. In fact, cite examples of you in the issue, do not drag the similar problem faced by another person. It is your problem to be solved, not somebody else'.
Follow the right channel- There must be a means of transmitting the information in your concern. An informal issue between friends may be addressed as a discussion with all other friends in a casual environment. But when there are indirect relationships, such as work, a problem related to your senior's senior should by-pass your immediate senior to avoid unnecessary politics.
Know what you are expressing and how you are expressing- As mentioned earlier, the delicate matters need to be expressed very well; so tone, words everything matters. Choose your words wisely and see how they are impacting/ going to impact to the addressee and yourself in the long run.
Discuss based on facts- Discussions or points based on general perceptions do not hold prominent and can be easily evaded, ultimately no conclusions. Thus, a lot of times, what you are actually feeling is not significant than what actually happened and caused.
Don’t point out something that happened many years back- This is never going to help. It is simply like you holding grudges for long and venting it out, which will only make your real issue look small.
Express your take on the situation, what you perceived- Definitely mention your perception about an action or decision that impacted you. Remember, that point highlights your assertiveness.
Whatever your expectations are, conclude for a meaningful result one which is a win-win situation. An outcome that aims towards betterment is definitely going to be beneficial to both the parties, considering its rationality.
Overall, have a constructive meeting, whatever the outcome is. Once you conclude a win-win situation, have a follow up to understand the progress. Always remember, acknowledge the improvement even though minute. It shows your support for the change and helps you to resolve the concerns arising in the future.