Get To Work: With Suzy Welch

Suzy Welch: Here's a clever little secret to managing your manager

A bad boss can have a huge impact on your happiness and productivity at work — so much so that you may be tempted to voice your dissatisfaction.

But regardless of how eager you are to address the issue, bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says you'll want to think twice before offering your critiques. Welch says that even if your boss gives you an opening, like asking, "Do you have any feedback for me?" you'll want to refrain from sharing your totally honest opinion.

"Giving your boss negative feedback almost always backfires," she tells CNBC Make It. "My advice — don't even try it. It's too hard to finesse a tough message like 'You micromanage me.'"

CNBC Contributor Suzy Welch
CNBC Contributor Suzy Welch

Instead, Welch says you should use this simple hack to "manage up."

"If your boss asks for feedback, instead of criticism, offer praise — high praise," she says.

Rather than focusing on the problematic aspects of your boss's behavior, Welch says you'll want to point out an instance where their actions didn't drive you crazy. For example, if your boss tends to be vague about details when giving assignments, thank them for the one time they did provide clear expectations.

"Effuse about how much you appreciated that clarity and how it helped you do your job better," she says. "Go overboard with gratitude for the transparent communication on that occasion."

Welch emphasizes that this approach is clever without being dishonest. "Let's just call it 'shrewd,'" she says.

Learning how to manage your manager isn't easy, but according to Welch, it can be very beneficial to your career.

"This technique is the only one I know that allows you to give feedback without blowback," she says. "Give it a try."

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker.

Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo

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