Complaining to Your Boss
For best results, schedule a time to meet with your supervisor to discuss your concerns. Then, before charging in with a laundry list of complaints, take an honest look at your own performance. If there is anything you could be doing better, use that as a conversation opener.
An example: if your sales were down last quarter, tell your boss you recognize that. You have looked at your client list and promise to research leads more thoroughly before you approach prospective customers in the future. This indicates that you are open to change; your boss will be more ready to hear what you have to say. “Whether it’s your direct boss or another supervisor, it’s always about taking an even-handed approach,”says Mark Walton, of the management consulting firm Mark Walton and Associates.
You will be more successful if you offer creative yet specific ways to resolve a complaint. Let’s say your cubicle is next to the loud break room, and you find the noise distracting. Would it be possible to move you to a quieter location? Can the company finance a pair of noise-cancelling headphones? Or can partying in the break room be limited to certain times of day?
“Remember,” says Walton, “your boss is not your friend. You are complaining to your supervisor because you want to see something change in the organization. If you just want to whine, choose another set of ears.”