How To Give Your Manager Feedback: 5 Tips

We get it. It can be awkward to give your manager feedback. On the one hand, you can be like “hey, I’m just an employee, I don’t really know what I’m talking about, you’re the person in charge of my paycheck and I don’t want to offend you.” But on the other hand, your manager is like “hey, I’m the boss, I want to improve my management style and make your life at work better” – which is great. However, if you do say something and you’re not careful, you could come off as being naive, rude or even worse – a suck-up. On the flip side, if you don’t say anything, you’re running the risk of becoming known as a mute doormat. It all adds up to a weird power dynamic where you don’t really know what to say or how to say it. 

It’s a minefield. 

But hey, if you can navigate it – it could be a really big win-win-win situation for you, your manager and even your company. So let’s dive into some things to consider before you start sharing your thoughts.

Think about your relationship before you give your manager feedback

It’s important to be honest and open with the feedback you give your manager, but it’s also important to be mindful of your relationship with your manager. If you have a good rapport and trust each other, you might feel more comfortable sharing more candid feedback. If you don’t feel as close or if you’re not sure how your manager will react, you might want to be more measured in your comments. Start slow, and build up. 

Understand the culture of your organization

Every company is different when it comes to how open and receptive they are to feedback. Some organizations encourage employees to speak up and share their thoughts, while others are more hierarchical and discourage employees from challenging their superiors. It’s important to understand the culture of your organization – the real culture, not just what they say the culture is – and how your feedback will be received. 

How to structure your feedback

If you do decide to share feedback with your manager, it’s helpful to have a clear and structured approach. You might want to consider using the “SBI” approach – Situation, Behavior, Impact – to help structure your feedback. This involves describing the situation, the specific behavior that was problematic or could be improved, and the impact that this had on you or the team. By using this approach, you can provide specific, actionable feedback that your manager can use to make improvements.

Remember the benefit of sharing feedback

While it can be intimidating to share feedback with your manager, it’s important to remember that it’s a valuable opportunity to help improve the team and the organization. When it comes to sharing ideas, the old adage ‘there’s no such thing as a bad idea’ is not necessarily the right mindset to have. If you’re new to sharing ideas, it can be helpful to consider ideas that are within your scope of influence. For instance, if you’re in sales, it might make sense to suggest something related to sales, rather than commenting on how the engineering team are doing their work. 

How to give feedback

With all this in mind, the best way to actually deliver the feedback to your manager is via a video response. Not only will this ensure that your tone of voice is communicated accurately, but your manager will be able to see your expression and emotion, which will help avoid any costly miscommunications.

The easiest way to provide asynchronous video feedback is using Re-View. Simply have your manager send you their questions via Re-View, then easily answer them with a video response on any device.

What’s the summary of how to give your manager feedback?

Overall, it’s important to be thoughtful and respectful when sharing feedback with your manager. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where you’re being honest, but taking into consideration other important things so as to avoid coming across as a blockhead. 

By taking the time to consider your relationship, the culture of your organization, and how to best structure your comments, you can help create a more open and collaborative work environment and improve the effectiveness of your check-ins, while strengthening your relationship with your manager.