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Challenging Your Boss - Is It A Good Idea?

Challenging your boss can mean you have ‘your card marked’ and it is only a matter of time before you are asked to leave the business. But what if you are right?

Supervisors are supposed to have more experience than you, they are meant to lead by example and have exceptionally high values and ethics. Sadly, this is not always the case. People who stay with a company for a long time can be promoted naturally due to business excellence, but this does not mean they are a natural leader. It is a fact that the longer you stay with an employer, you are viewed as being a company asset. It is the knowledge that you carry around in your head that is valuable to the employer, so to keep the person happy, they may reward with bonuses and promotions.

There is nothing worse than working for someone, and you know the job better. Or your supervisor is quite vocal about their frustration in the job, or with the management. These are just opinions you would probably rather not hear.

If you feel that you must speak to your supervisor, here are some tips:

  • Always do it in private
  • Have your facts and evidence with you, simply to highlight your point
  • Do not under any circumstances get emotional
  • If they are defensive, keep referring back to the facts
  • Ask them to consider your thoughts and arrange a future date / time to meet again
  • Do not tell any colleagues you are raising concern

If your supervisor thinks that you are causing trouble within the team, it is only yourself that will be penalised. However, ask yourself if your supervisor has been with the company for a long-time, they are not likely to leave – is this the right job / role for you?

If your supervisor does not take on-board your comments / findings, it is only with great care that you approach their supervisor. This all depends on the seriousness of the issue, if it’s about lunch breaks, do yourself a favour and don’t! However, if it is about bullying in the team, then you cannot stay quiet. Do not fight others battles, that is their job.

A diligent worker is someone who does their own job and doesn’t get involved in office drama or gossip, speaking about colleagues behind their back. All of these points only lead to upset and people then leaving their job. Employment security is not easy to find these days, our advice is, whether you are speaking to a colleague or supervisor, pick your words wisely.

A Supervisor who is genuinely interested in the company will ask others for their feedback and value this. If you are asked for an opinion, make it constructive highlighting the positives and negatives. Don’t forget to also look at your own skill set, before you criticise someone else.

Causing friction in the workplace simply is not worth the hassle, plus if you cannot work with supervisors it will show on your CV as you will, no doubt, moving jobs frequently. Try to remember your conduct is remembered by ex-colleagues and ex-supervisors. If you work in a particular industry sector, reputation comments travel and you do not want to be known as a troublemaker.

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