How to Bring a Problem to Your Boss

Work-related issues can be tricky. You don’t want to feel alone in your challenges, but you also don’t want to bring attention to yourself which may indicate a personal problem. Don’t panic, though.The reason you have a manager is so that work and productivity can be seamless. When a problem arises, your boss needs to be made aware of the difficulty. Don’t feel bad when you have to seek additional help to solve a problem. You should be proud of yourself for working towards the greater good  rather than being weighed down by your dilemma.

It is always best to bring a proposed solution to the conversation, but don’t panic if you just don’t know the answer. Consider taking notes on the events or situation so that you have all pertinent information. Be prepared, but also be honest with your employer and be real, not rehearsed.

Here are 3 tips on how to bring a problem to your boss:

1. Determine how you’ll communicate with your employer.

Does the issue require a face-to-face conversation with your employer or can it be handled through email. Consider how swamped your boss may be, and how severe the problem is. Take the time to write down some of your thoughts or to write a rough draft of the conversation. Remember that your employer wants you to succeed, so planning ahead will help you properly communicate, regardless of the method.

2. Stick to the facts, not the emotions.

Make sure you proofread your emails before sending and/or think about what you will say to your boss when you meet. Your boss isn’t as concerned with your feelings as they are how those feelings will affect the quality of your work. What are the facts of your situation? The facts are clear details that can’t be disputed. Facts are information that aren’t influenced by emotions. If you can discuss your matter factually, your employer will be more equipped at helping to solve your problem.

3. Acknowledge the problem.

It’s tough to talk to your boss about problems. You would prefer to not bring them into issues. But, you’re going to your employer because you are unable to solve a problem. You either do not know the solution or it doesn’t fall within your scope of responsibility. Clearly address the problem by stating how this problem is affecting you and the company. The sooner, the better, so be sure to bring an issue to your manager’s attention before it gets worse.

Asking for help can be a challenge because it affects the self-esteem or you may have to address some uncomfortable content. Focus on the work and what you are accomplishing by being proactive in your career. But, try to find the positive in the situation as you may have diverted a bigger and messier problem. Let your boss know that you believe in their insight and advice because of their experience.