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Why You Should Challenge Your Employer More

This might sound like strange advice, but challenging your boss might actually be good for your career, and your work environment. Some of the most common workplace disagreements are born from poor communication, and an employee’s fear of standing up to their boss. So instead the employee puts up with the changes or the overwork or the under challenging role, and instead of facing it lets a resentment start to build up. Eventually, this resentment will boil over, and one or both parties will end up in a dispute. One of the easiest ways of avoiding this problem is to be open and honest with your boss – and sometimes that means challenging them. But rather than challenging every decision (are you sure you want another donut with your coffee?), picking your battles can work wonders.

 

09 September 2015
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First, Develop Trust

Before you can start challenging your boss on the big issues, first you need to develop a relationship of trust with them. Go the extra mile to be a reliable member of the team, contribute valid ideas and keep to your project deadlines. Not only prove to your boss that you are a valuable asset to the business, but also that you see them as a human being with feelings, and not as a statistic at the top of the pile, and you will earn their trust and respect.

 

Avoid The Trivial Matters

Your boss is likely to be a very busy person. Running or managing a business is not easy, and is often time consuming, so try not to approach them with trivial matters that you could handle yourself. Odds are that is exactly what they will tell you to do, and you will go down in their estimations for not being able to take the initiative. If you have a minor problem, show them that you can stand on your own two feet and handle the little problems on your own, that way when you approach them they will understand that it’s not a trivial matter.

 

Practice Tact And Timing

The method and time you approach your boss to bring up issues and challenge their views are incredibly important. If you boss is incredibly busy, or just having a bad day, take the time to step back and bring up your concerns at a better time, when they will be able to give you their full attention. If you work in a very busy environment, it might be best to book a meeting with them to discuss your issues, so they are ready and willing to listen to you. When you finally get that meeting, make sure you’ve practiced your approach. Exercise tact when discussing sensitive issues, and make sure you are using the right tone of voice. If you are addressing the fact that your boss has made a mistake, don’t embarrass them in front of others or make any demands. Instead, treat them with respect and sensitivity – after all, it could have been you that made the same mistake in their shoes. This might seem simple, but you would be surprised at how effective a little tact and understanding can be.

 

Do Your Homework!

And finally, if you are preparing for a confrontation with your boss, made sure you have done your homework! If you are suggesting a new ides, make sure you have examined every possible angle and prepared for all questions. If you are confronting a problem, make sure you have all the correct facts and evidence to back up your claims. There is nothing worse than going into a meeting half cocked and coming out embarrassed because you got the wrong end of the stick. Think things through and prepare before you rush in, and you will gain much more respect.

Of course, even if you do all of these things, there are still some situations that cannot be saved. Whether it’s between employee and employer or between other employees, an external body is sometimes needed to come in and adjudicate. In these cases, Guillaumes are here to help settle these disputes as painlessly as possible.