Do you have a boss who is reluctant to give you any feedback? Are you unsure of what your boss thinks of you or your work? If so, you might be feeling a little anxious or uncomfortable. It can sometimes be hard to be happy and productive when you don’t know where you stand.

So how can you encourage your boss to give you some feedback? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Suggest that there’s room for improvement – If your boss is the type of person who is afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings, it can sometimes be helpful to mention that there’s always room for improvement. For instance, you could say, “This project was successful, but I’m wondering if it could have been managed a little better. What do you think?” This type of comment could make it easier for your boss to open up and share his or her opinions.
  • Get specific – If your boss only tells you general things like, “You need to be more of a team player,” ask for specifics. Say something like, “Can you give me an example of what that would look like?” or “What are a few things that I could be doing to help me achieve that?” Asking for details can help you to clarify what your boss is saying.
  • Compliment your boss on feedback you received in the past – If your boss has ever provided you with feedback in the past, mention how helpful it was to you. Then ask your boss if he or she has any additional suggestions. Complimenting prior feedback might encourage your boss to provide more.
  • Ask your boss what other people think of your work – If your boss just finds it too painful to critique you in any way, ask your boss to tell you what other people think of your work. Your boss will probably mention things that he or she agrees with.

And no matter what your boss says, always stay calm and positive. Even if you don’t agree with the feedback that you’re getting, thank your boss for his or her input. (This will encourage your boss to provide more feedback in the future.) And try to find the helpful bits of information that might be mixed in with other, less helpful suggestions.


Shellenbarger, S. (2016, June 28). How to find out what the boss really thinks of you. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from