Saying something to a manager or supervisor is not something many of us look forward to. While opening up to a coworker might be more comfortable, doing the same to a superior in the office may not be as easy since they are in a position of power. Bear in mind, however, that communication skills do come in handy. Now that you have established that you wish your manager to address an issue that you have found in your office you must be clear about what you are going to say to your manager. We want to help, so we prepared this 3-part article for you. In here, the first one, are a few how-tos to have in mind when approaching your manager or supervisor:
How to address your manager:
If you are expressing your concern to your manager electronically, the foremost thing to consider is how you address your manager. Remember that the person you are addressing is a professional and must be dealt within a professional and respectable manner, regardless of how upset you may be. Always open formal emails with a proper salutation, such a “Dear Mr./Sir” or “To whom it may concern”. For a female supervisor, you may want to know first what she prefers to be called,i.e., “Ms.”, “Mrs.” Or “Miss”. By starting your email in a professional manner you will have established the tone of the message you want to transmit to your manager, letting him or her know the seriousness of your concern.
How to write:
Whether you are issuing a complaint about a colleague who is making you uncomfortable, pointing out a surprising that is affecting a business project or even wanting to make amends with your manager after a discussion you should always look to use formal and straightforward language to express your concern. Be sure to maintain a serious, unbiased tone without delving too much into your personal or emotional issues regarding the situation. You are communicating with your boss to handle something in a professional environment and your tone should be representative of that. Avoid signaling out anyone in particular, unless it is fully necessary; you don’t want to create any more conflicts in your work environment. Furthermore, use words that are formal and direct without saying anything dubious about your intentions. Keep your statement straightforward so as to make sure that your boss understands your concern without leaving room for misunderstandings. If possible, discuss your concerns with an impartial colleague and have them take a look at your statement in case it needs any correction.
How to talk to your manager in person:
If the situation warrants communicating to your manager in person, composure is key. Be sure to keep your body language relaxed yet stern. That is to say, avoid using too many hand gestures, since this can be seen as informal and unprofessional. Also, keep a concerned but not a worried face – you want to look calm and be prepared for any possible solution that your manager has in mind. When you are speaking, keep your eyes focused on the manager and be polite and considerate about your concerns. Remember, your manager is also a person and might be affected with what is transpiring at the workplace. Talk inquisitively to your manager so you can help in finding a solution. Remember, regardless of what is going on at the office or workplace, you are part of a team and by expressing your concern, you are helping improve your experience there.