How to speak to your boss with confidence

In the elevator, in the kitchen at lunch time near to the coffee machine… There are plenty of moments when you might cross paths with your boss. Perhaps you have difficulties starting a conversation. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with some handy topics to help you to handle speaking to your boss with confidence.

We have all found ourselves in situations where we have reacted strangely in the presence of our boss. Instead of engaging in a conversation, we get nervous, start babbling, and, not knowing what to say, we freeze. So, how can you speak to your boss with confidence without acting weirdly?

Firstly, it is important to understand that this state of nervousness is produced by the feeling of hierarchy. But this hierarchy is only at work – it’s not personal, so there’s no need to feel any kind of inferiority in this sense. On the other hand, they have hired you for some reason, so your position in the company is just as valuable. Thinking about this will help you to position yourself in a space where you can speak to your boss with confidence, and your superiors as equals. And always with professionalism and respect.

As for possible conversation topics with your boss, avoid any topic related to politics, religion or criticism of others. When you come across him, just smile and ask “how’s your day?” Talking about literature, movies, music and sports (as long as they are not topics likely to cause conflict) is better than talking about time. You can also ask about his professional career, show an interest in the history of the company or provide some ideas that create constructive for the company. These types of conversations are neutral and will give you fresh topics to come back to in the future.

Finally, avoid joking around, crossing your arms, or avoiding eye contact. These are some of the mistakes you should not make when talking to your boss. Instead, rely on non-verbal communication tips and active listening: in short, smile, show your hands when you talk, maintain eye contact and show receptiveness when listening.

Talking with our bosses and managers can be a challenge, whether we are new to the company or have already spent time there. But, like everything, it’s a matter of practice. Armed with these tips, you will be able to speak to your boss with confidence and create space for enjoyable conversations, should you ever find yourselves together in the elevator.