How to Talk Back to Your Boss

Someone on Quora had asked me this question:

He said “I have a problem where I always feel guilty when someone criticizes me even when I know I am correct. I always blame myself and agree with them even though I know they are wrong. This is self-defeating behavior, and I get upset afterwards for not standing up for myself, but it’s hard when it’s an authority figure/boss. It ruins my self-esteem and makes me feel like I deserved it, but I am afraid of being disliked. I know this is illogical and can actually ruin my reputation even though I know I am good.

I think this has to do with the power distance in my culture (I am Asian) that Malcom Gladwell talks about in “Outliers”. Are there any good books to help with this? I really want to self-improve, but I have a hard time being aggressive. It’s just not my personality, but I can’t live with constantly being taken advantage of either.”

This was my response:

My old mentor used to tell me, “Do not approach me with a problem, unless you also come with a solution as well.”

If you want to criticize this person, you better have a detailed outline on what should be done instead.

Identify the problem, and present the solution.


Leonard blogs at LeonardKim.com

If you liked this post, recommend it.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.