Talking to Your Boss, Without Getting Fired

Some bosses are lighthearted and fun, while others can be unapproachable tyrants bent on world domination and making the lives of their employees miserable. Trying to sit and talk rationally with a boss like this can be frustrating, but as intimidating as a boss might be, with a few simple tips, you may find that going to your boss to talk doesn't have to leave you being told to walk.

By Jennifer Jordan


For anyone who works in the corporate world, there is no escape: bosses, CEO's, and higher ups are around every corner. Sometimes this is great: some bosses are fun; they go to happy hours and pick up the tab. But others are not. They yell at their employees, force overtime, and refuse to throw holiday parties. Fun, not fun, or somewhere in the middle, speaking to your boss can be a bit intimidating; after all, they hold your career - and your pay-cheque in the palm of their hand.

As intimidating as a boss might be, with a few simple tips, you may find that going to your boss to talk doesn't have to leave you being told to walk.

Evidence is your Friend: Whenever you bring up an issue to your boss, you must have proof that the issue at hand truly exists. Nothing can make a person's point diffuse quicker than lack of data; if you have no evidence you simply have no case. For this reason, before you even consider speaking to your boss, be sure you have specific examples that back up your claim. If you're going to assert that you're being singled out, for instance, you better have a list of examples that validated your feelings. But, be careful that your evidence is valid: don't use it if it's gossip or if it stab's a coworker in the back.

Ask Questions: One of the best ways to get your boss to see your point is by asking questions about their point. If they refuse to give you a raise you feel you deserve, ask them why and then ask them what kind of things you can improve that may eventually lead to them changing their mind. If you still don't agree with what they have to say, ask them if there is a way you can compromise. By asking your boss questions, rather than just demanding you get your way immediately, you can convey that you are willing to work with your boss to meet somewhere in the middle. If they are completely unwilling to bend, consider going to your boss's boss.

Don't Get Emotional: Getting emotional is human nature; we all do it, often at the most inconvenient times: talking to your boss is one of those times. Despite your emotions wanting to guide you, telling you how to act, how to react, and what to say, don't let them. Remaining calm, rational, and in control is the best chance you have at your boss taking you seriously. Yelling, accusing, and throwing a stapler at your boss's head won't only lead to your boss probably not listening to you, but it may also lead to security escorting you out.

When it comes down to it, your boss, like you, is just a person. He or she was most likely once in your shoes. Many bosses are rational and genuinely care about the happiness of their employees; heck, they are being paid to care. Your boss may be more receptive than you think. If they're not and there's no reasoning with them, leave your job for a better one...but steal office supplies before you do.

Jennifer Jordan is an editor and staff writer for An English major and professional writer, she spends her days correcting grammar and wondering why she's unpopular.

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