Whether you’re complaining about your working conditions to your superior or criticizing a particular sales approach, voicing your concerns is important, but can get very stressful. This is the main reason why so many people decide not to voice their opinions in a professional setting.
However, if you express yourself openly, you will come across more confident, demand the respect of people around you and be able to shed light on problems before they worsen.
ASSESS THE SITUATION
It’s important that you assess the situation and identify the cause of your frustrations. Before you speak to your manager, be honest with yourself. Being burnt out or making the job something it isn’t can also lead to frustration. Ask yourself these three questions; Is this problem really worth bringing up? Can this problem be solved by a positive change? Will my manager be able to help me in this situation? If it is something that needs addressing, arrange a meeting to discuss these issues with your manager as soon as possible.
GATHER YOUR THOUGHTS
If you feel like you’ve been singled out for extra projects or additional work that you can’t keep up with, make note of specific times this has happened. Write down your feelings and share specific incidents that have contributed to your frustration. This will help you effectively share them with your manager.
TIMING IS IMPORTANT
If you’re in the middle of a staff meeting and you don’t agree with a new policy change, stating your point during the meeting itself is a bad idea. Instead, schedule some time with your manager for a one-on-one meeting later, and make sure it’s a good time before opening the discussion. This will help set the stage and tone for a much more productive conversation.
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
If you’re angry about the way management handled something, lose that anger before you approach your manager. Be professional and advocate for yourself without attacking co-workers or making demands. While discussing your concerns, think logically not emotionally. Describe the situation, how it affected you and that you would appreciate if changes were made to fix the problem. Listen to your manager’s response carefully and acknowledge legitimate points they make even if they are in contrast with what you hope to gain from the discussion. You have the opportunity to learn a lot from someone who’s been through this before. Be open and apply this advice practically.
THINK OF POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
Once you’ve described the problem and its possible implications, tell your manager that you would like to work together to devise a possible solution. This will show responsibility and initiative on your part. Go on to talk about the possible solutions and the benefits. Brainstorm some realistic solutions to suggest to your manager when you speak. Having a solid plan for how the situation can be remedied could convince them to make changes. A good idea would be to present your thoughts in specific steps that can be taken to improve the situation.
ASK FOR SUPPORT
If a problem is recurring, or if your concerns have not been met with recognition, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Ask your colleagues to voice their grievances as well, in a similar manner. This will illuminate the fact that multiple people are affected by the problem, and will motivate the management to take a further course of action.
It’s impossible to make progress until someone addresses the problem. As long as you focus on solutions, rather than the problem itself, and share your feedback honestly and calmly you have nothing to worry about. If anything, your supervisor will thank you for bringing it up in the first place.