How to Complain to Your Boss

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Make sure your emotions are in check before you complain to your boss.
Make sure your emotions are in check before you complain to your boss. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

All kinds of problems can abound in an office setting; when they do, workers often want to bring these problems to their boss. Personality disputes, harassment and unpopular management decisions can give rise to complaints. Certain complaints may be personal, while others may relate to an entire group. It’s important to know exactly what the nature of the problem is, gather all of the relevant facts and compose yourself before bringing issues to your boss.

Examine the pros and cons of involving your boss. If you can’t determine a clear benefit to talking to your boss about a particular problem, it may be best to deal with the issue yourself. If the problem should involve your boss, weigh the pros and cons of complaining to him without a third party being present.

Calm down if you're in an emotional state. Your boss is better able to understand your problem and therefore help if you tell her what's wrong in a calm and professional manner.

Look at the situation from your boss’s point of view: Your boss’s opinion of the problem might be very different to yours. Bosses need to consider the needs of the larger team, as well as how their management skills will be viewed by their superiors. These points of view may result in them seeing your problem in a different light from you.

Determine what outcome you want. Don’t go to your boss with a problem without having a clear idea of what you want him to do.

Stick to the facts of the case. Don’t lie to make yourself look better; don’t embellish either.

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