How to Speak Up to Your Manager

Speaking with your manager about how they can better support you is important. This may involve sharing concerns about your tasks or teammates. Or, it could involve asking for help with a problem.

Although your manager already may support you, they might not be aware of your concerns. This is why you should speak up.

Of course, finding the courage to speak with your manager can be difficult. Although you may want things to change, you also want to protect your job.

However, speaking with your manager is essential for your productivity and job satisfaction. Your manager needs to know what you would like to change to improve your performance.

Implement these tips to effectively speak up to your manager.


Set a Meeting with Your Manager

Find out when your manager has time to talk with you. The sooner you address the issue, the better you will feel.

Make the Issue About You

Begin the discussion with an “I feel…” statement. This makes the issue about you rather than your manager. For instance, “I feel I have too many projects assigned to me and am extremely stressed about finishing the tasks on time.”

Work Together on a Resolution

Ask “How can we…” to create a plan to solve the problem. This shows you want to work together to resolve the issue. For instance, “How can we free up time for me to complete my work and lower my stress level to avoid experiencing burnout?”

Suggest Solutions

Be prepared to share your ideas for resolving the issue. This shows you thought about it and took ownership of finding potential answers on your own. For instance, “Perhaps some of my project tasks can be reassigned to a teammate. Or, maybe a colleague can cover some of my regular duties so I can focus more on the project.”

Listen to Your Manager

Pay attention to how your manager responds to what you say. Work with them to reach a solution that fits both your needs and theirs.

Maintain Open Communication

Focus on having smaller conversations with your manager going forward. It is much more effective to share your concerns when they develop than to hold back and let them expand.

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