How To Raise Concerns With Your Boss

Want to know how to raise concerns with your boss, but you avoid it out of fear? Do you feel resentment building but you simply don’t want to upset people? Lots of people avoid raising concerns with their boss for fear of burning bridges. Raising concerns with your boss can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips on how to do it without damaging your relationship.

1. It’s KINDER to talk to your boss than avoid it

Most millennials understand that feedback is essential for growth. And yet, when I was younger I struggled to speak up about what was not working for me. I think part of it is that I didn’t want to rock the boat – after all, I was just happy to have a job. But quietly quitting is not the answer. If anything, it’s much kinder (and more productive) to meet with your boss to discuss your concerns. This way, they have the opportunity to take on your feedback and explain why something is done a certain way – or make changes based on your feedback. Of course, you don’t want to rob your boss of that learning opportunity. But at the end of the day, he or she can only make changes if they are told specifically what is not working. And that’s something I really encourage my team to do. We love helping our clients by giving them feedback about their talking etc. Raising concerns helps your boss to learn and improve things. Also, with your feedback, the whole team can benefit from the changes.

2. Raise concerns with your boss calmly and diplomatically

It’s natural to feel nervous or even a little confrontational when raising concerns with your boss. After all, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make them defensive. However, feedback is an essential part of the learning process, and it’s important to be able to give it and receive it in a constructive way. Get yourself in the “green zone”. Do some deep breathing before starting the conversation so you are emotionally neutral.  It is important to acknowledge their emotions too. For example, “I understand this may come as a surprise and it was out of respect that I wanted to talk to you about it.” If you find yourself getting emotional during the conversation, focus on breathing deeply again. It will calm your nervous system and make it easy to remember that raising concerns is helping. If you’re feeling really nervous about the conversation, try writing out your points beforehand. And remember, feedback is meant to be helpful, so approach it from a place of curiosity and openness. We’re all works in progress, and feedback is one of the ways we learn and grow.

3. Frame your concerns in terms of how they impact the team or company as a whole

Framing your concerns with your boss in terms of how they affect the team as a whole is often a better strategy. Keeping in mind team goals and team culture can help shift your mindset away from feeling as though you are just complaining. In doing so, teamwork and company objectives can be brought to the foreground. This can help you to realise that you’re not alone in facing issues, creating a stronger team dynamic with united progress towards organisational success. When you have a concern, framing it in terms of how they impact the company or team as a whole helps to let go of the thought that you are just complaining. It also helps bring a sense of understanding and togetherness.  When addressing issues at a team or company level, it often reinforces the shared goal of maintaining a positive working environment and helping everyone achieve their goals.

4. Raise concerns with your boss, not your colleagues

We all want our workplace to feel positive, productive and fulfilling. That’s why it can be really important to raise concerns in a “healthy way”. When an issue arises, it’s understandable to want to vent and talk about the impact it is having on your individual day-to-day. However, venting to colleagues can also create a toxic workplace very quickly. We are social beings and sharing our thoughts or concerns with our work friends can seem like the easiest option to deal with things. But it is actually unhelpful. That’s because your colleagues won’t necessarily that the authority to make the necessary changes to improve your situation. Therefore, a more effective strategy is to take the information up the line to the boss. This is especially helpful when you don’t agree with someone else’s decision-making process. It is more effective to ask your boss the reasoning behind the decision to help you understand a different perspective. Coming from a place of curiosity can help your understanding of the situation.  rather than Respectful communication helps make life better for everyone!

5. Raise concerns and propose solutions

Raising concerns with your boss can be made easier when you also propose solutions.  It also shows that you care about the workplace and are not simply complaining. Your concerns c. For example, “I noticed that other team members often rush off after lunch and I’m always left to do the dishes. I was wondering if this could be mentioned at the team meeting. Perhaps a gentle reminder might make others be aware that it is an issue.” Also, when you provide solutions, it can make it easier for the changes to be implemented. Team members who provide solutions create a win-win situation for all!

6. Take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them

When raising concerns with your boss, they may also shed light on some of your mistakes. I know this can be hard to hear. Remember, the most important thing about making mistakes is not what you do, but how YOU react. We are all imperfect. A growth mindset means that we view feedback as an opportunity for growth! When we know better we do better. This is what helps us not only become better speech pathologists but also better humans.


Contrary to popular belief, raising concerns with your boss does not have to be a daunting task. By following the simple tips laid out in this blog post, you can approach the conversation with confidence and professionalism. And remember, sharing this blog with your peers is a great way to start the conversation about speaking up at work! After all, it is important to remember that we are all working towards the same goal: providing quality care for our patients.

Written by Julie Sexton, CEO and Senior Speech Pathologist at TalkHQ

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