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Respect goes a long way
My friend and I have been discussing how to talk to a boss about a sensitive subject. We’re a little stumped about how to approach him. Doing some kind of meeting request seems way too formal, but just walking up and asking questions wouldn’t be taken seriously enough. What do you think?
Bosses and sensitive subjects can get awfully complicated very fast. The best advice I can give you on this one is to go carefully. There are a lot of things to consider when approaching someone that is your boss.
What is the nature of this subject? Is this something serious enough that you should have an HR representative sit in? If someone’s job is at stake, I don’t think you could be too formal. Keeping records of communications is important if this is a situation that could get bigger or more complicated.
Or is this maybe something that isn’t quite the nightmare that this old woman first thought up? This could be sensitive, but joyful. If no jobs are at risk, maybe it’s not something that you need to have a record of.
Start with reviewing any employee policies. If there’s a policy in place, follow it. If there’s not a policy, consider what the outcome of talking about this is going to be. Are you hoping for happiness, well wishes, and a hardy handshake? Or are you simply still hoping to be an employee once folks hear what you’ve got to say?
Approach your superiors with respect for their position in any case. It might not seem like it, but somehow the person that is your boss earned that position. Even if folks are given a position they don’t deserve, they got it somehow. And anyone who is your coworker deserves common decency and respect as a person.
If you feel like this could become a sticky situation, don’t be afraid to ask for additional folks to be in with you. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in any work situation, so if you’re nervous, speak up.
Much like in any other part of life, respect goes a long way. Be respectful and courteous, and I have no doubt that you’ll be fine in whatever the situation is.