How to approach your boss with a problem

*This is a collaborative post.

No matter where you work or what you do, you’ll always have to communicate with people. There are times when problems will arise at work that involve other people. Even if you work from home on your own, you may have an emergency that means you have to disappoint a client.

Although working online often means you have increased flexibility, it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from things going wrong. So, how do you approach someone you work with, with a problem?

I used to be so scared and afraid to approach those in authority in the past. I’m not sure if it was a culture issue or just being plain nervous. It’s something I still struggle with, but I’m definitely not where I used to be.

Let me share with you, a few tips that have been so helpful.

Schedule a Chat

There’s no point barging into your boss’ office in a panic because something is going wrong. If you have a problem and you want it to get solved quickly, you’ll need your boss’ full attention. Ask your boss to schedule you in for an important chat so you know there are no other distractions going on when you get to talk.

Let your boss know that you have an issue you need to discuss and you’d appreciate some of his time as quickly as possible.

Be Aware

Although your problem may be the most important thing to you, your boss may be dealing with other problems at the same time. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you, if you’re able to.

If you know that your boss is dealing with a few stressful things at once, it may not be the right time to bring your problem to him. If you’ve known your boss for a while, you may be able to tell when he/ she is in good moods and when he/she’s in bad moods. Catching him/ her in a good mood may make it easier for you to explain your position.

Take notice of his/ her facial expressions. Is your boss receiving a phone call at the moment? Does he/ she look rattled and disorganized? I think communication goes both ways and you really want to know that the atmosphere is good enough for a chat.

If you’re being honest with yourself, you certainly don’t want to have a chat when you are under so much pressure.

Get Help

Not everyone is lucky enough to have an approachable boss. If you’ve already gone to your boss with your problem and nothing has been done, it may be time to get help. For instance, if you’ve suffered an injury at work, you may benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney.

Or, if you’re part of a union at work, you may be able to get help and advice from them. You could start by writing your boss a formal letter asking for a solution to your problem. If you don’t get a satisfactory reply, your union may be able to step in on your behalf.

Read: Best Ways to Get Help at Work

Of course, if nothing is done by your boss, your next point of call should be your HR department before proceeding to see an attorney. If an issue can be settled amicably and internally, it’s not worth escalating it.

Do Your Part

When problems arise, they aren’t meant to be passed on entirely. A problem is your own and you’re responsible for fixing it, even if you do need a little help. When you approach your boss, be sure to tell him that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to find a solution.

Don’t just try and drop your problem on his lap. Managers often prefer to give advice so it’s a good idea to ask for suggestions instead of expecting quick fixes. Be willing to learn, so you never have to approach this kind of problem again.

Going to your boss with a problem can be nerve wracking, but it’s a great way to build up a solid relationship. Find out best ways to get help at work and discover how to deal with a micromanaging boss.

Have you ever had to approach your boss, how did you go about it and what was the result? Share below in the comment section.

*This is a collaborative post.