General 4 years ago

Coaching up your boss

By May 24, 2019

Do’s and Don’ts when coaching up your boss

“You are to run a project with your boss and he is the central decision maker. You get this gut feeling that certain decisions taken by him might affect the business in a negative way.

He might be too busy to realize it and you want to let him know that things have to change. It’s time you will need to coach up your boss.”  

How to give your boss feedback?

Upward feedback could be risky or favorable to the organisation , depending on the way the superior will receive it. Sharing your feedback with your boss comes needed especially if he is the reason to hold back the productivity. We get it, it can be an intimidating experience as coaching up could either get you to crash your career or even promote you up the ladder. 

If offered correctly it would not only help your boss and your company but also it will help strengthen your working relationship.


  • Be sure your boss is open minded and loves feedback from his team.
  • Plan how exactly you’re going to address it to the boss, preferably a week or month in advance depending on the person
  • Compliment your boss in what he is achieving right before getting into the areas of concern
  • Reason in the feedback email or discussion as to why his concern is needed as his decision will affect the business performance.
  • Focus on how you will help him to improve rather than tell what should be done.
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Do NOT’s

  • Consider this open and honest feedback as coaching so it paves the way for direct communication
  • Disagree with your boss in an urgent situation , wait until matters settle down.
  • Use “them/they ” to refer to the executive management when a new policy is implemented by them. Go along with” we” as they are part of your team.
  • Make declarations- “ I think another approach should be used”. Rather ask questions -“ Do you think we can we go for another approach”

Feed forward may not be easy as you think but if well planned it will uncomplicated and most superiors look forward to feedback from their team. Another perspective always matters.